An annual (or corporate) report is a comprehensive document that summarizes a company’s operational and financial activities during the preceding year. Most public corporations are required by law to prepare annual summaries for their shareholders.
Corporate reports are important because they spotlight your successes, strengths, and weaknesses as a business. You’ll need to know all three to plan ahead and achieve your goals for the next year.
Most companies write annual reports because they’re legally obliged to. The clever ones think outside the box and use them for marketing purposes, too. An annual report is a really smart way to spread the word about your business to potential investors. In fact, these documents can double as highly influential marketing tools for any small, mid-sized, or large company.
Companies of all sizes are creating attractive annual reports to influence and inform. How? With corporate communication platforms.
These user-friendly platforms enable businesses to create engaging interactive content, build brand awareness, and automate distribution (among many other things). Choose one that offers quick and easy creation options like these:
1. Create a corporate report by uploading a PDF
Upload a PDF file with pre-existing content and convert it into a customizable publication. Then add interactive elements (videos, photos, slideshows, plugins) to grab your reader’s attention and hold it.
2. Create a corporate report from a template
An annual report tells your business’s story. A clean, minimalist design can help you tell that story by visualizing key information and data.
Design templates are for anyone who isn’t a trained graphic designer, basically. Pick one that resonates with your brand and set it as the framework for your annual report. Then include your own content, visuals, data, fonts, themes, and color schemes.
The right template will help you build a more creative, narrative-driven report that accentuates your brand’s transparency and doesn’t detract from its message.
Key elements of a corporate report
Branding: every piece of communication you create - including an annual report - impacts your brand story. That’s why consistency is important. Include logos, use the right color codes, and ensure your typography is uniform throughout each report.
Branded apps: publish reports on a custom branded app and let people from different levels (employees, management, board members, potential investors) access them easily.
Real-time content updates: information included in a corporate report should be accurate. If you notice a mistake in yours, correct it instantly with real-time editing tools.
User management: compiling an annual statement is a complex team effort. Simplify it by getting multiple departments involved. Assign tasks to different staff members from each one.
Privacy options: business reports aren’t for everyone. Protect yours with a password, or use a link to share it securely.
CRM: with a CRM system in place, you can quickly deliver an annual report to all - or certain - contacts stored in your database. All it usually takes is one button click.
Analytics: how engaged are investors, employees, and other shareholders when reading your report? Use comprehensive tracking data to find out.
With important information compacted into a single resource, annual reports break down workplace silos and foster a deeper understanding of business objectives. If you’d like to learn more about corporate reporting, check out Joomag’s free white paper.