The Annual Report. It’s a must-do for every listed organisation. For too long, internal financial and comms teams have viewed the annual report as a tedious must-have.
This hasn’t been helped by increasing corporate governance regulations designed to increase a company’s transparency and accountability. Whilst in itself this is a good thing, it also introduces a significant increase in the content and length of reports from new pages, extra spreads and linkage.
The result is that many companies with March year-ends have teams that are now in the thick of putting together their reports, with late evenings and revisions a-plenty.
Partly as a spur these teams, we’ve taken a step back and embraced some of the good things about Annual Reports:
- 1) It’s a chance to communicate your business’s key messages and tell its own unique story. No two companies are the same, and this is a platform to tell everyone what you do and how you are doing it, in your own words.
- 2) It’s not just for a financial audience. You should be addressing all stakeholders, from employees to end customers. And let’s face it, the storytelling aspect of reports is the more interesting content to read. If you want to engage people outside the financials, this is a great opportunity to do it.
- 3) Companies can link ESG efforts with the corporate strategy. Everything starts to look more joined up, the way a strategy should be. Many companies are now moving to include both social impact and corporate reports together. Either way, corporate social responsibility is moving up the agenda and is now rarely side-lined to a few pages at the end of the strategic report.
- 4) Companies can get creative, from case studies to statistics and infographics, there are lots of ways you can bring your strategy alive.
- 5) Make a bold statement about your brand. You can share your mission by aligning purpose, mission and values. This is what will really speak to your audiences and help them feel more connected to your company.
- 6) Introduce your leadership and other team members. Who is leading the company and how do they contribute to your company’s success? Give the people behind the organisation a personality
- 7) Lay the groundwork for your future. While an annual report is a summary of a year, is also foundation for the future. In this way, the annual report has life and is relevant for the future, not just a document of record.
To find out more about how Wardour can help you with your annual report or investor communications needs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7010 0999.