The growing importance of client annual reports as a brand communication tool is creating “significant copywriting opportunities” for design consultancies, according to the author of a new survey on the discipline.
The survey, named The Company Report Report, examined the annual reports of Europe’s 100 leading companies. It found UK companies were leading the way, taking six of the top ten positions in its annual report league table. Addison came top in the survey for its annual report for The Boots Company.
“UK reports are generally more adventurous than European ones, although some can be incredibly dull. But they are improving and following in the footsteps of US companies,” says survey author Matthew Grenier, a freelance annual report consultant. He is also impressed by the German, French and Dutch annual reports.
The survey was commissioned by public relations agency Prowse & Company.
“They [the UK reports] have become much more like business magazines in the past five years, with standalone headlines and nicely presented features. There is also more information given on brands and business strategy.
“But a lot of the editorial copy still leaves a lot to be desired and design consultancies should push themselves forward as the people who can change this,” he adds.
Addison head of words, Sam Hannam, also sees great potential in copywriting.
“I was brought in last June to tap into the opportunities we saw in annual report copywriting,” says Hannam.
“We felt clients weren’t appreciating the function of words in embodying and reinforcing their brands and have pushed ourselves forward as a group that can help them make the most of the text,” she adds.
Meanwhile, British Petroleum’s annual report, designed by Pauffley, came second in the survey.
The Reuters annual report by CGI came third with Rhone Poulenc’s report, by Ecocom, in fourth place.