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Written by Mike

Your company's annual report is far more than just a statutory obligation to your shareholders. Nowadays, investors both large and small view annual reports as one of their most important research tools when making an investment decision. Just as importantly, many rating and ranking organizations use annual reports as their principal source of information for rating companies over a wide range of areas, including competitiveness, corporate governance, corporate citizenship, corporate social responsibility, environmental compliance and a host of other key factors. Therefore it is crucial that your annual report communicates all the strengths of your company, not just the balance sheet.

Top global companies have been aware of the importance of annual reports for some time. Therefore they employ huge in-house research teams and spend tens of millions of dollars with leading corporate PR agencies, all to ensure that their annual report conveys the right message to both shareholders and the public at large.

So where does this leave smaller companies like yours, with limited in-house resources and a tight budget for investor relations and corporate communications? Well for a start, you can make significant savings in production costs by printing far fewer copies. And then you can put some of those savings towards improving the content and delivery of your annual report.

This is not as crazy as it sounds. Let's assume that printing your annual report costs $30 per copy, before we even consider distribution costs such as postage and packaging. Now put yourself in the position of your existing or potential investor. What would you rather receive? A large printed tome that will take up valuable space in your office, be difficult to search and index, and become worthless within 12 months? Or would you rather receive a useful and practical large-capacity thumb drive that you can use every day? No contest, right?

That thumb drive, of course, is printed with your company's logo, and contains your annual report in Adobe Acrobat pdf format, as well as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets of your company's accounts and other Key Performance Indicators. It costs you about $20, and is much cheaper and faster to package and distribute.

You'll still need to print a few annual reports, but you should restrict their circulation to those people and organizations who actually request them. We guarantee that most of your investors, analysts and fund managers would rather receive your annual report in digital format, along with the attractive corporate gift in which it is contained.

The pdf version of the annual report can also be distributed to anybody who wants it, completely free of charge - along with other useful corporate information - as an e-mail attachment and as a download from your website.

You are certain to make a positive impression on existing and potential investors with this convenient and attractive way of distributing your annual report, and you will definitely save a lot of money, but it still won't do you any good if your annual report fails to get the message across. This is where it makes sense to retain the services of an experienced business editor.

A professional business editor can dramatically improve the content of your annual report and make valuable suggestions as to what type of information should be included and how it should be presented. The cost is minimal compared to the benefits obtained, and sometimes the results can be spectacular. For example, one of our EditFast editors worked closely with his client, a medium-sized property and construction firm listed on a major Pacific Rim stock exchange, to transform market perceptions of the client's corporate integrity.

The client was an ethical company with a high level of business integrity, but did not have the communication skills to put that message across. The EditFast editor identified areas in which the client could communicate and disclose its governance processes more effectively. As a result, the client went from absolutely nowhere to being ranked in the top 3% nationally and best in sector for corporate governance, according to the leading independent ranking authority.

At EditFast we have a strong team of professional business editors with extensive experience in your industry and in-depth knowledge of your market and jurisdiction. Before you produce your next annual report, please contact us for an estimate. We're sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the modest cost and delighted with the quality of our service.

Click here for an immediate FREE ESTIMATE.

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