First Step – Write out an outline
Trying to write an annual report without an outline is like trying to ride a bike that doesn’t have wheels, it just won’t work. Therefore, before you do anything else you have to write out an outline, which you can go off of when you’re doing your annual report copywriting. Typically, an outline will consist of title or cover page followed by narrative statements like an overview of the last year and a preview of the upcoming year, some kind of financial statement that reflects the financial status of the company, and an index along with any appendixes that are required.
Second Step – Compile information and find graphics
You cannot complete an annual report without information and good graphics. Ask people throughout your company for reports on what they did over the last year along with getting financial statements from the accounting department. You could also ask customers to give testimonials and check out the Internet for any press that might have been done on your company. During this time, you should also find graphics to use in the annual report and some that work best include color photos, tables, graphs, and illustrations.
Step Three – Get to writing, but have a purpose
At this stage in the game, you have everything you need to begin writing the copy for the annual report. When writing though, go into it with a purpose and focus on getting the project done. Set goals for yourself and stick to them so you can get everything done in a timely fashion.
Step Four – Proofread the copy and make corrections
When you’ve finished the first draft, then proofread each section one at a time and make corrections. After making those corrections, then proofread the first draft as one whole document and proof it all again to be on the safe side.
Step Five – Lay it all out
This is the stage where you can lay everything out for final edits. Add all the graphics that you have and make sure that everything fits well together.
Step Six – Proofread it all, one more time
Proofreading cannot be stressed enough, which is why you should do it one more time to find any errors that might be in the annual report. It’s also a good idea to bring other people in to help with the proofreading process, so, ask your co-workers to get involved.
Step Seven – Time to print and distribute
When you feel like the annual report is ready to go, then it’s time to put it into production and get it printed. You can also create an electronic version if you like, offering you a variety of ways to distribute it to people.
By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to learn how to create an awesome annual report. Seriously, you can do it even if you have never done one before since like with anything, annual report copywriting is a skill that anyone can acquire if they take the initiative to learn about it and do it.