COMMENTS ON FIRST IMPRESSION
What makes an annual report score 30 points in this category:
Attention-Grabbing Format. A unique theme, an engaging style, a new idea. Something that catches an investor’s attention before the report is even opened and encourages them to read each page of the book from end to end.
High Quality, Detail, and Diversity. Excellent paper and gloss; attention to detail relative to the usability of the report; and visual diversity from page to page while maintaining a consistent style.
Trends we noted this year:
Artwork. More stylistic artwork and charts are moving annual reports to a high level of quality. The information substantially aids readers in understanding a company and its focus on both small, independent and institutional investors. More artwork this year showcased companies’ considerable capital investments (e.g. facilities around the world) and top-label clients, and the idea of building a story around trustworthiness is very effective.
We Truly Care. A book’s theme works extremely well if it fits the company’s messaging of centering itself around investors and their expectations. We learned a lot about whom top companies care about outside the financial circle, (employees, customers, communities, etc…) and how supporting them ultimately benefited all the company’s key stakeholders.