Thursday, April 29, 2010

Annual Reports with Zing

We view annual reports as an obligation, and we stuff them full of facts and figures. Are they interesting to read? Do they generate interest and support for your organization? Not usually. But they can.

Let me show you two annual reports that are fun to read and provide greater understanding of the organizations’ purpose and culture. Although these are online reports, you could use the same storytelling techniques in written reports.

Victoria Police Department
The Victoria Police Department in British Columbia set out to create a positive public image with an online, interactive annual report.

Real staff tell real stories. Sergeant Alan Cochrane explains how the seizure of a drug vehicle uncovered a case of identity theft; Karen Wallis tells us about one of their most active crime prevention volunteers; and the section on the Call Centre includes actual examples of receiving and responding to 911 calls.

There are a few technical glitches, but those don’t seem very important once you learn that the photography, writing and programming was all done in house.

British Library
The British Library’s online annual report is interactive and fun. You move your mouse over the various images and pop-up dialogues tell you more about the object and direct you to further information.

For example, I learned that the Dering Roll is the oldest English roll of arms in existence. Related images tell me how it was nearly sold at Sothebys but was stopped by an export ban and that the roll includes a fake entry for a fictional ancestor.

Note: Corporate Storytelling provides additional examples of why and how to incorporate stories in your organizational materials.

Coming up next week: Annual General Meetings with Zing

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