Over the years, we’ve seen many of our clients turn away from the elaborate, full-color, magazine-style annual report toward simpler, shorter print treatments. And many companies across the U.S. (as many as 75 to 85 percent by some estimates) have gone on-line with their annual reports, regardless of the size or breadth of their print version.
“What used to be a standard-bearer in the industry — the full-sized, glossy annual report — is no more for many companies,” said BroadBased CEO Jan Korb. “Our clients tell us that cost considerations and the movement toward more environmentally friendly communications have been influences. Many clients, even before this recent recession, had cut back to color ‘wraps’ around their 10-Ks. Although there will always be a need for a print version to some degree, the emphasis is on-line.”
The growing trend is toward more interactive components and “moving parts” in the on-line version of the annual report, Korb explains. “Video, either including the entire report or used to highlight management, products or special initiatives, is a trend that is catching on fast.”
Another feature to consider for your investor relations communications is a searchable, page-flippable, printable and web-linkable product to post to your Web site or corporate blog. These types of documents can easily be referenced from your print, email or on-line communications and greatly enhance your user experience. And they save you printing and mailing costs as well.
Whatever direction you take for your annual report this year, consider incorporating some of the new trends. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about non-traditional options.