Annual report copywriting

Win over stakeholders with a focused annual report – whether you’re a corporation or a charity.

When you’re choosing a copywriter to work on an annual report, it’s important you get the decision right.

As a minimum, you want someone who is comfortable interviewing senior decision-makers; who is organised and deadline-focused; and who is intelligent and diligent enough to understand how your organisation works.

But you also need a copywriter who can apply clear editorial focus from the first page to the last.

It’s this extra clarity that sets me apart from other writers – and makes me a good choice for your annual report copywriting.

Annual report copywriting: my process

If you commission me to write your annual report, I’ll follow a clear process. This helps me write a report that keeps your strategy in sharp focus.

The process involves:

• Background planning.

    I’ll begin by asking questions. In some cases, the answers may be obvious; in others, less so. Questions may include:
  • who your key stakeholders are and what priorities they have;
  • what you want to say to them – taking into account statutory reporting rules;
  • how you want to say it (i.e. tone of voice, style, proposed design);
  • what digital channels you’ll be using (for example, HTML versions of your report);
  • who has input into the annual report, and when (or whether) they’re available for interview;
  • who my main point of contact will be;
  • what reference material is available;
  • when you need copy for both digital and print.

• Creating a synopsis and theme.

    At the start, I’ll help you create a proposed synopsis of your annual report, covering both print and digital. In the process, I’ll:

  • come up with a suggested ‘theme’, where appropriate, that reflects your strategy and makes your case to stakeholders;
  • establish how facts, figures and other content elements relate to your main theme;
  • work out how the report will ‘flow’ through these themes;
  • consult with you on where to include compulsory statutory sections within the synopsis;
  • work with you and your designers, where relevant, on flatplans and sitemaps;
  • help plan the reader’s ‘journey’ through the copy, from your website to the PDF or HTML versions of the report.

• Writing and revising.
Working to an agreed timetable, I’ll supply copy for each section, and supply revisions as appropriate.

• Proofreading. I can help you with last-minute checks, and can proofread any sections written by others. This will help you avoid errors or inaccuracies that may have been missed.

Last-minute sign-offs are a fact of life with large editorial projects. But by commissioning a copywriter who uses a clear process, you’re in better shape to minimise late changes and avoid deadline-day confusion.

Start working on your annual report today

Get in touch

Contact me today to discuss your content or training needs.

I look forward to hearing how I can help.

Chris Alden, freelance copywriter Member of the Professional Copywriters' Network Member of CharityComms