STRATEGY: How to write copy strategically

Readers absorb and remember much more of an interesting story woven around facts and figures than they will remember a bunch of statistics and tables.

Remember that reports are not read as novels, so some repetition may be necessary to strategically get your message across. Where one reader may read a section in detail, another may completely gloss over that section but read another.

Once inhouse contributors have written their sections of the report it is usual for someone to edit all the copy to ensure that it speaks in the same voice. That same person may ‘top and tail’ the information – that is write active headlines and pull quotes that summarise/highlight key information. This ensures that each page reiterates the strategy of the report.

Strategic writing introduces the key themes early in the report and then expands on them in later pages.

Managing expectations

Managing expectations can be one of the most difficult parts of an Annual Report. One way to avoid surprises it is to get as much information as possible at the beginning.

In print, that means getting printed samples that use the same stock and colour treatment as your project.

Paper companies or printers will supply these as well as make up samples in the exact paper that you specify.