What makes your Annual Report a winner?

Posted in Reporting on 9 November 2017 
By Amber Ali, Business Development Manager

The IR Society Best Practice Awards are within touching distance. The top Annual Reports from around the world will take centre stage. Does yours cut the mustard or is there something you can learn from the best? 

Let's take a look at what it means to be the Best Annual Report. The IR Society Awards recognise companies that show a proactive effort to promote clear and consistent investor communications.

The Annual Report isn't just a regulatory requirement, it's an excellent platform to communicate your business strategy, structure, culture and performance. 

It's not just what you communicate - it's how you do it.

It should be part of an integrated communications strategy. Assets such as infographics, charts and even interviews from your Annual Report can be used across multiple channels - on your website or in presentations, for example. This creates a consistent message that communicates your story in a clear and engaging way, as well as reinforcing your brand.

It's not just what you communicate - it's how you do it. So the layout, structure and hierarchy of information is as important as the information itself, and are key to achieving the status of Best Annual Report.  

So what makes a winner? What is the IR Society looking for in each Annual Report? If your company aspires to win the Best Annual Report in the IR Society Awards, you need to:

1. Clearly present your equity story and investment proposition

Reporting must be part of your overall investor relations strategy between the company directors and shareholders. Demonstrate evidence of honesty and transparency.

2. Show an engaging and informed narrative that tells your story 

This means there should be a holistic insight into your company, covering strategically-important issues and connections, such as a clear, understandable business model, clear links between strategy and KPIs, and between risk and remuneration.

3. Have a design that enhances your company's message and gives a sense of your culture and values

It's also best to have a strong online version of the Annual Report, and consider the use of content, user experience and accessibility perspective.

4. Embrace the ‘spirit of the law’

 Provide context and insights into the company’s business and performance in a clear and concise manner.

If you would like to see how some of our clients have ticked these boxes, see some examples below. All these companies were nominated for the Best Annual Report in the IR Society Best Practice Awards across the FTSE SmallCap, AIM, FTSE 250 and FTSE 100.

Be Heard Group
Howden Joinery Group
BT Group

If you would like to know how we supported them on their journey, please get in touch by emailing [email protected]




Presenting the opportunity

Growing a business brings a wealth of challenges, not least articulating your company’s ambition and vision.


Strengthening your content

As reporting consultants, we see many corporate documents, from polished, award-winning materials to those that - let's just say - are not.