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At MDM, we pride ourselves on being thought leaders. Following are a number articles produced by our directors and team experts that provide an insight into design, communication, marketing and business – practices and trends.

Engaging shareholders – making an impact

An annual report provides lots of important information about your company – from financial results to messages from directors and senior executives, and updates on strategy to a view of the wider market. Annual reports are a valuable tool for shareholders to use in deciding whether to grow, reduce, start or end their investment in your company.

People read annual reports for different purposes, and at dramatically different levels. Where one investor may be guided by financials alone, another may consider the message from the chairman the most important guide as to the company’s future.

At MDM, we specialise in producing annual reports. We have the strategic and creative knowhow to truly understand what really matters to your audience, and how to connect with them. Our Investorcom Connection Framework uses comprehensive shareholder insights and clever design and storytelling to share your story in a way that builds connectedness with readers – however they consume your annual report.

Every annual report should contain a number of mandatories including an executive summary, company profile, board of directors and senior management bios, and financial statements. However, to truly engage with shareholders, companies need to provide more.

'At MDM, we specialise in producing annual reports. We have the strategic and creative knowhow to truly understand what really matters to your audience, and how to connect with them.'

Company highlights

Located at the start of your annual report, this section is designed to excite shareholders and create confidence about your company’s performance. Designed to have maximum visual impact, your company highlights should summarise key performance measures, activities and results, and paint a bright picture of the future.

Financials summary

An effective financials summary provides a snapshot of the company’s key metrics, highlighting any noteworthy successes. By presenting ‘must know’ information in point form and using easily digestible charts, graphs and infographics to communicate data, MDM can help you to craft a compelling financial story.

‘Hero’ pages

Hero pages come between sections of your annual report. They present a great opportunity to use design to reinforce the key themes of your report, often including full bleed photography and pull quotes in large font. Executed skillfully, your hero pages will create excitement and drive shareholder engagement.

At MDM, we design and produce investor communication for some of Australia’s biggest public and private companies including annual reports, shareholders notices, prospectuses and online collateral.

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Storytelling – conveying messages with purpose

Traditionally considered dry and primarily a compliance document, the annual report is enjoying renewed focus as a powerful marketing tool that can be used to make a bold statement about your company.

The most effective annual reports put financial results in context and integrate them as part of a well-crafted story. They celebrate the achievements and successes of an organisation, and reflect the culture and personality of your brand.

'At MDM, we’re experts at working with our clients to create annual reports that connect with your shareholders. Our Investorcom Connection Framework centres on storytelling, in a way that helps shareholders and stakeholders to feel more connected to your company.'

When it comes to annual reports, clever design is key to effective storytelling, driving engagement and building connection. Smart marketers are looking for opportunities to integrate design elements that allow parts of the report to be repurposed for promotional activities.

At MDM, we’re experts at working with our clients to create annual reports that connect with your shareholders. Our Investorcom Connection Framework centres on storytelling, in a way that helps shareholders and stakeholders to feel more connected to your company. Key messages and themes are supported by a number of elements, including:

Infographics

Infographics provide an opportunity to display financials, statistics and facts in a visually engaging way. Used strategically, they allow readers to scan your annual report for key takeaways. Good infographics can be used to convey your story to both internal and external stakeholders in a quick and efficient way.

Corporate colours

At MDM, we believe your annual report’s colour palette should reflect and highlight your brand’s visual identity. Colour and contrast can be used to provide signposts to your readers and communicate detailed information in easily digestible chunks of content.

Human stories

Whether it’s shining a spotlight on some of your employees or telling an inspiring customer story, consider including personal accounts of how people engage with your product, service or brand. People connect with people, so showcase the great personalities that are part of your company to drive engagement and connectedness with shareholders.

At MDM, we design and produce investor communication for some of Australia’s biggest public and private companies including annual reports, shareholders notices, prospectuses and online collateral.

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Online trends – the future of annual reporting

Your annual report is a vital communication tool for your company. It’s an opportunity to celebrate your success, reinforce your brand story and deliver key messages to shareholders and stakeholders.

In recent years, we’ve seen more and more organisations invest in digital annual reports as readers turn to digital platforms to consume content. These interactive online reports are certainly more engaging for readers, but also deliver a number of compelling benefits to companies.

'Digital annual reports deliver a whole new user experience for readers. Going digital gives organisations companies the opportunity to inspire and excite their audience with the latest digital functionality, while demonstrating a commitment to innovation.'

At MDM, we encourage our clients to consider creating a digital annual report to complement their traditional paper-based report for a number of reasons:

  • The digital format allows you to get creative with animated or interactive infographics, videos and animations.
  • Anyone can access your report at any time online, making it accessible to a wider audience.
  • Analytics allow you to see who is reading your content, where they are and what device they’re using.
  • No printing costs means digital annual reports are generally cheaper to produce.
  • They have less impact on the environment.
  • Digital annual reports deliver a whole new user experience for readers. Going digital gives companies the opportunity to inspire and excite their audience with the latest digital functionality, while demonstrating a commitment to innovation.

    At MDM, we have our own cutting-edge online products to create and host your digital annual report and make it easy for people to connect with your company. By embedding videos and audio elements we make it simple for your readers to understand and connect with your message. We use animation to bring key takeaways to life, and movement to highlight ‘must read’ content.

    Of course, we’re mindful that less is often more. Our Investorcom Connection Framework uses comprehensive shareholder and stakeholder insights to inform our approach, allowing us to communicate an authentic story in a way that resonates with your readers.

    At MDM, we design and produce investor communication for some of Australia’s biggest public and private companies including annual reports, shareholders notices, prospectuses and online collateral.

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