Annual report - a marketing tool

It is annual report season again. Don't get too grumpy, though, done well an annual report can be the best marketing tool for your organisation.

MediaWise writes and edits annual reports for a number of organisations. As we say to each of them, an annual report is NOT about publishing a financial statement alone. It is also about telling a story of achievement and impact over the past year, written and designed to engage or re-engage supporters and donors with the organisation.

What we aim for is a strong story that reminds people why they donate to or support your organisation. It's about reminding them that your organisation cannot progress without them. It's about appealing to their emotions.

With this in mind, we take time considering what should be in an annual report. We aim not to include every single thing which happened during the year but to focus on the highlights and successes so that donors and supporters gain a clear understanding of how their money has been spent solving the problems or challenges that the organisation is set up to solve and address.

We work closely with our graphic designer to work out how best to make facts and figures stand out from dense text; ensure photographs are used well - as we know, pictures can tell 1,000 words; and use colour and movement to bring attention to the detail.

The results are attractive and readable documents that don't collect dust on shelves. They are part of a suite of publications that can be used either as a one-off or with other materials.