Lunchtime Links: Making Your Annual Reports More Meaningful
You can better connect with that stuffy annual report’s audience by giving it a more personal flavor. Also: How to evolve from an idealistic visionary into an inspirational leader.
You can better connect with that stuffy annual report’s audience by giving it a more personal flavor. Also: how to evolve from an idealistic visionary into an inspirational leader.
When it’s time to create your annual report, remind your members and stakeholders what captivated them about your organization in the first place. By enriching your report with strong visuals, plain language, and good stories, your association can ensure a stable support system.
More on that in today’s Lunchtime Links:
Riveting, readable reports: In your annual report, rehashing old facts using highfalutin language that lacks fluency and clarity can be impersonal, confusing, and just plain boring. Communications consultant Stu Slayen writes on The Strauss Blog that an annual report can become a more engaging, thought-provoking publication if it’s tailored to connect with its audience on both an intellectual and a personal level. “If the final content is (a) technically sound to the satisfaction of the experts within your association; and (b) reasonably easy to understand by nonexperts outside of your association, then you have accomplished something grand, memorable, and profile-boosting.” Include stories from your members, staff, and other stakeholders to give a compelling picture of your association’s work to advance its mission. “The voices and faces of stakeholders will warm up your report, extend its reach, extend its shelf life, and inspire audiences,” Slayen writes.
From dreamer to leader: With great power comes great responsibility—especially if you’re the boss. If the head honcho has difficulty translating a vision into easy-to-follow instructions for employees, both trust and the organization’s success can be undermined. Inc.com contributor Eric Paley says a leader should be less of a quixotic fantasizer and more of a focused organizer. “Great leaders build credibility with their team by making a plan, executing it effectively, and demonstrating that it was the right plan,” he writes. Although an organization starts with a vision, it takes strong leadership to sustain its success.
Digging into data: Befuddled by a recent downturn in your financials? Wondering why that last conference was a complete and utter flop? Rather that ruminating over failures, take a closer look at your members’ behaviors by tracking and dissecting data. Sarah Lugo, Digitec Interactive’s digital marketing coordinator, suggests not just collecting but connecting data to better inform future decisions. “If we take the time to analyze and seek out trends in our data, sometimes the most valuable information is right in front of us, we’re just not seeing it,” she writes. Evaluate what is and isn’t working for members and make their needs a priority.
How does your organization use data to make decisions? Share your insights below.