The season for annual reports is upon us! If you’re a communications professional or a leader in your organization, chances are you recently completed a report, or you’re in the process of in-depth research into your own organization right now. Recently, Anglin PR helped our client, the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) to distribute their annual report, so we’ve spent the last couple weeks working to get the most mileage out of this document. CJAC’s report had some great news about gains in reform efforts - a topic many people in our community care about. We were able to create “bitesize” content to show the community the who/what/why of the county’s big drop in our jail population and give credit to those who helped make it possible. Whether you work in a corporation or a nonprofit, reports serve as a glimpse into the best of your work, so it’s worth it to create a strategy around distribution. Increase visibility in these ways:
Show internal audiences first: As a courtesy to your staff, investors, donors, board members or whoever is core to your organization, be sure to distribute the report internally first in various ways from emails with links to the full report to mentioning in staff meetings or investor calls. Prioritizing those people you work closest with will help you continually build rapport and trust.
Set the narrative of your report: Annual reports can be full of data and graphs, so be sure to offer an interpretation of those numbers. Often that comes in the form of a letter from your CEO or Executive Director. In the case of press pitches, that may take the form of a written press release.
Take your major outcomes to the press: Speaking of press releases, pitch a story about the 1-2 most important pieces of information from your annual report to niche media outlets who would be interested in your organization's mission. Like in the case of our client, CJAC, talking points help with interviews.
Share digestible pieces of data over social media: Transparency is the name of the game when it comes to maintaining good relationships with the public. Sharing your annual report with your social media followers is a nice gesture of openness, plus there’s a lot of quality content to pull from! Charts and graphs make for handy graphics, and they lend themselves well to a series of posts that help your audience feel more connected to your organization.
Incorporate the report into your content year-round: Link to your report as a source when sharing data or discussing a relevant issue on your site or press releases. It’s an in-depth look at your organization, so use that research again and again when you need to show data. It also helps introduce new followers to your organization as your audience grows throughout the year.
Your annual report is a high quality communications tool, so get all you can out if it!