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Hybrid Annual Report: An efficient and effective solution.

Reading time: 2 minutes

There are many different ways to publish an annual report. The trend has long been away from print products towards digital options. But instead of relying on a full HTML solution, more and more companies are opting for a hybrid annual report: the mix of microsite and smart PDF incurs only moderate costs and combines the demands of all stakeholders.

Simple, fast, effective

The annual report universe is still in flux. There are numerous possibilities to further develop one's own report or to make it cheaper, faster and more efficient. Topics such as XBRL and editorial systems are additional stars and starlets in the sky. In order to shed more light on the "black box annual report" in our own company, we can use six simple questions that we know from product marketing - after all, what is the annual report but a great (communication) product that should find its market as precisely as possible? The six essential questions are: 

  1. To whom do we want to sell our product, the annual report?

  2. What are its most important characteristics (messages)?

  3. How does the product fit into our overall (communication) portfolio?

  4. How and through which channels do we design the sales and distribution?

  5. How do we optimise production and distribution costs?

  6. How do we check the sales success?

From the IR department's point of view, not much has changed: Within the framework of legal requirements, analysts, investors, shareholders, the trade press and politicians must be informed transparently and efficiently for both sides. In very simplified terms. Which tasks, characteristics, qualities our product should fulfil beyond that is an individual decision of corporate communication.

A modern, ambitious annual report contains an editorial section, tells good and, above all, authentic stories that contribute to the corporate image and the brand as a whole. Above all, however, it conveys the certainty and decisive message to all stakeholders: Yes, this company is future-proof. It goes without saying that the stories are packaged in appealing formats.

Of course, it is also about the quick communication of financial data. And here, numerous studies and surveys prove again and again: the PDF is still the medium of choice for financial analysts and investors.

How can this balancing act be achieved? A hybrid solution is an effective communication tool here. An attractive online report creates important trust capital among employees and the public, while the clear presentation of the financial section in a smart PDF is the appropriate answer to the information needs of investors and analysts.

More interactivity and crystal-clear facts with the hybrid annual report

The hybrid annual report not only combines the demands of all target groups of a company. By outsourcing the financial section to a smart PDF, it is also more cost-efficient than a complete online report. A smart PDF also offers fast navigation and links between thematically related information; the text layout is optimised for good readability on digital devices and is therefore single-column. It invites readers to click on and delve further with different media, thus increasing the length of time they stay. In this way, the annual report is transformed from an annual obligation into an effective communication tool.

Your benefits at a glance

  • Addressing different target groups 
  • Effective communication that takes into account all information needs 
  • Clear financial section 
  • Optimal cost-benefit ratio 
  • Simple and fast IT solutions 
  • Insights into which contents of the online report were read and for how long 

Would you like to discuss this topic further? We are looking forward to your message.

Elke Lüders

Elke Lüders

Business Development