The awesome annual report — it’s all in the story!
Annual report. Those two little words often conjure up other words like ‘dull’, ‘heavy’, and even ‘eyes glaze over’. But not always! In selecting the best of the best, our Awards judges tend to use very different and much more positive words to describe winning entries. Words like ‘engaging’, ‘compelling’ and ‘impressive’.
So what does it take to get such accolades? Almost every winning entry over many years has inspired the judges to comment on the story told in the report. Here’s a great example from their comments on the Ryman Healthcare Annual Report 2018.
‘a strong example of how a company can take complex information and share the details both with clarity and with compelling storytelling’
‘The report tells an extremely engaging story that would undoubtedly appeal to a general reader.’
Why story? It’s easy to present data without joining the dots for readers. Stories carry messages and deliver information beyond mere numbers and facts. They answer the questions ‘so what?’ and ‘why should I care?’ Stories raise oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ hormone — we’re interested and engaged and we want more.
So if you’re proud of the story told in your annual report, yours could be the one our judges rave about this year!
Check the features of an awesome annual report below to see how yours measures up. And don’t be modest!
A checklist for Annual Report Awesomeness
|Check that your annual report:||Yes, it's good to go!||No, it needs more work|
|Tells an engaging and compelling story about relevant events, context, and trends|
|Is structured with the reader’s needs front and centre|
|Expresses complex information clearly and thoughtfully|
|Reports technical details and data in a way that keeps the reader’s attention|
|Uses an attractive design that helps tell the story|
|Is accessible to all intended audiences|
|Is memorable for all the right reasons (yes, it’s still about the story!)|
Read the entry criteria for Best Plain English Annual Report
Meet the judges for Best Plain English Annual Report
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Annual report
Tags: accountability, annual report, Best Annual Report, clear communication, transparency