January 3, 2017
Fresh ideas for digital Annual Reports
As 2016 makes way for 2017, it’s a good time to review wins and losses. And in our opinion, no single assets better communicates the year’s successes than the good old Annual Report.

Annual Reports are, for many organizations, a necessary evil. When working with clients on Annual Reports, we always ask how it will be used. And you know what? They often don’t have a clue, not because our clients aren’t great at their jobs (they are) but because Annual Reports are one of those things you have to do, even if you don’t really think they work. They’re the long boring meetings of marketing collateral. But they don’t have to be. Really.

Here are 3 things you can do to make your digital Annual Report sing...

  Lung Association Digital Annual Report
  Check out the interactive map in this
Annual Report PWR created for the
American Lung Association
of the Upper Midwest

1. Get interactive:
Think about including surveys, interactive timelines or maps, even feedback forms. Create a two-way conversation with your audience, a goal made easier to achieve when you’re crafting digital assets. (Hint: if your digital Annual Report looks and works like the PDF version, there’s room for improvement!) Use your Annual Report as another vehicle to tell your brand story, always easier with a dash of interactivity.

Joint Commission Digital Annual Report


The customized banner video in this
Annual Report
tells the brand story and highlights key messages

2. Use audio/video
but don’t forget a print version for old timers:
Incorporating video and audio can take any digital Annual Report to the next level. The traditional president letter is still great, but why not share a video or audio clip of your president, use customized video in your header, or embed videos throughout the report to drive home key messages. Remember, many members of your audience may still like paper, so incorporate a print version to appeal to the traditionalists.

  AAOE Digital Annual Report
  This Annual Report created for the AAOE incorporates tweetable quotes, animated charts, and a downloadable print version.

3. Prioritize good news: Use real estate wisely by highlighting good news and putting those pesky less fun or unwelcome messages behind main messages. Doing this can give you more control over how you shape your own news. For example, animated financial charts grab attention, but if the news is less positive, shifting it off the main page, onto a secondary page or pop-up, highlights the messages you most want to share.

For many brands, Annual Reports have to be done, but they really do not have to be dull. Indeed, expectations of Annual Reports are pretty low, so over delivering on expectations is a great way to stand out from the crowd and make your brand shine. Your brand is not boring, your mission is not lame… there’s no reason your Annual Report should be!

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“Ninety-one percent of journalists prefer to receive news releases via email.”

–PWR New Media’s 2016 Journalist Survey
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