Most publicly traded companies have made the move from a traditional annual report to a 10-K wrap. According to the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI)’s latest Annual Report Survey the median annual report narrative page length is between four to six pages. Is it possible for a company to capture an audience’s attention and tell a compelling story about its performance and strategy for growth in 4 pages? Here are five tips for getting the most out of your 10-K wrap design.
1) A cover design that grabs the reader’s attention
Start with a unique, easy to remember, theme that sums up your key message—whether that’s growth, global expansion or a renewed focus on a single strategy. If possible, try to avoid three word clichés like “Performance. People. Progress.” A single word or authentic phrase will be more memorable. Use a single powerful image rather than several small images. A single image grabs a reader’s attention more than several small photographs and communicates an idea more efficiently. If it’s appropriate to add humor, go for it, the analysts and investors reading your report are people too. Wake them up a little.
Provide an overview of the company’s segment structure, geographic breadth and financial highlights on the inside front cover for easy reference.
3) Mix narrative content in with the Shareholder Letter
The Letter provides context but the narrative adds color. People respond to stories and the narrative content is a company’s opportunity to tell their story. Focus on employees, new facilities or product launches and how they tie into the bigger, strategic picture. Use callout boxes or a single “highlights” page in a different color scheme to weave narrative content into the Letter.
4) Include one or two powerful, high quality photographs
In a 10-K wrap you have limited real estate for all your text and photos but a picture is still worth a thousand words. One picture of a new factory floor bustling with activity sums up the idea of “momentum and expansion” in a way words can’t.
5) Post an online version of the 10-K wrap
Because of Notice and Access most companies have trimmed their 10-K print runs to a few thousand copies. Putting an online, microsite version of the 10-K wrap on your website allows you to reach a much wider audience including stakeholder groups like prospective employees and business partner who might otherwise have never seen your annual report. With an online annual report you can turn the still images in your printed version into powerful, captivating videos. You can also add non-material content that you would have liked to include if you had had more pages, like extra charts, info-graphics, awards and Board photographs.
Follow these tips with your next 10-K, and a little can go a long way. More power to your annual report!
To find out how Eisenman Associates can help you get the most out of your 10-K wrap, corporate website, or sustainability report call Nina Eisenman at 212-941-0550 or contact us here.