Tip 1: plain, clear language
For your readers to be impressed, they need to understand you. That’s why our first tip is: avoid long, convoluted sentences and display figures in tables and graphs. Keep your readers on your side with a simple sentence structure and, importantly, use the active voice and work with verbs. For example:
The share price rose by 3%
The positive share trend helped drive the price 3% higher.
Tip 2: build excitement
It’s your story that counts! That’s why we recommend piling on the excitement in your annual reports and working with emotions. It’s a way of captivating your target readership. But what’s the best way of building a good story?
A good story has a hero or heroine and a villain. The former could be the founder or the CEO. And the villain? Traditionally, someone or something that must be overcome. So, set the stage for the personalities in your company: pluck up courage and fight the villain, be it a rival or an unfortunate situation. Your readership will side with the hero/heroine and enjoy plots with a happy ending.
Tip 3: find a motto
What’s the main thrust of your report? Annual reports with an overriding theme that fits with the company are particularly appealing. Like a motto, it should act as a common thread from the cover via the visuals to the chosen story. This should help you stand out!
Tip 4: planning is everything
The early bird …! A compelling report needs forward planning and deadlines agreed with all the parties involved (editing team, language service provider, graphics agency, printer, company management, etc.). If all this is properly coordinated, the whole thing runs like a well-oiled machine. Prudent project management helps, too.
Tip 5: make smart use of technology
Our fifth tip concerns the use of digital tools. These days there are lots of ways you can minimise errors, boost your workflow and save time, money and stress. These include automated interfaces between the editing tool and translation teams, and machine translation with post-editing. Talk to the professionals!
Tip 6: support from partners
Having to produce an annual report alongside the day-to-day business can push a team to the limit. Get partners on board with the relevant know-how – people who can support you and make your life easier. Partners who are familiar with the precise implementation of standards and guidelines such as Swiss GAAP FER, IFRS, US-GAAP, etc.
Another advantage: it’s often easier for outsiders to see the bigger picture and have a clear perspective on what the report needs. Because they don’t suffer from operational blindness, they can spot added values that insiders may take for granted.
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Apostroph wishes you every success – and is at your service
Enjoy the creative process of compiling your annual report – we look forward to being inspired by your story.
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