21 tips for a successful Annual Report

We’ve been designing and producing Annual Reports for ethical organisations, including many charities and housing associations for 21 years and we’ve learnt quite a lot on the way.

Here are our 21 tips for producing a perfect annual report.

1. Define your objectives
Understand what the Board and other stakeholders want and expect

2. Make someone in charge of organising and managing the project
This will ensure clear lines of communications

3. Plan well ahead of time
Set out a clear and realistic timeline

4. Know your target audience
Consider who they are and how they like to receive information

5. Make it accessible
Use the right font and give people the option to choose how they view it on-line

6. Have a clear structure
This will help you organise your content and messaging

7. Engage the right agency
Write a clear design brief

8. Share your budget
This will help your designers understand the scope of the project and what can be achieved

9. Tell a good story
Give your report a theme to help people follow your thinking

10. Hire professional copywriters
Ensure your editorial is consistent, has the right tone of voice and is engaging

11. Use impactful photographs
Bring your stories to life and show your impact

12. Highlight the highlights
Make the key points stand out. It will make the rest readable

13. New format and finishing
Same old design will convey the same old messages. Think about alternative formats – print, digital or mobile – change is good

14. Make your data sexier
Numbers don’t have to be boring

15. Less is more
This is key if you want your content to shine

16. Use direct quotes
People are far more likely to connect with first-hand stories

17. Look back and forward
Celebrate your achievements and outline what lies ahead

18. Use infographics
Tell your story and explain complex issues

19. Keep to your brand
Brand consistency is key for your Annual Report

20. Disclose the risks, issues and challenges
Don’t put a gloss over everything, if things are challenging, be honest and acknowledge this

21. Promote it
Post highlights on social media, have a link on your website, create an animation – make sure people know about it and talk about it.

Can we help you produce your perfect annual report? Email Chris here or call 020 8426 6888


Our clients tell us we are friendly and approachable; we say we’re always on the end of a phone for a chat. So why not give us a call? 020 8426 6888