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The Art of Storytelling In A Business Report

14 Dec, 2020 | Books & Reports الرسوم البيانية
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Business Report: A Powerful Marketing Tool 

 

Report design might not seem like most interesting topic… But good design can make or break your report.” 

 

The foundations of a good business report may include:

 

        • The company’s highlights of the past year (or up until that year) 
        • Report progress and insight on previous targets
        • Current status in terms of accomplishments and work-in-progress projects
        • Case studies
        • Credit to partners / clients / investors … etc

 

What firms seem to misunderstand, is that the Business Reports, regardless of their purpose (Annual Reports, General Corporate Information or Operating and Financial Review…), are an effective stand-alone powerful marketing tool.

 

When you think ‘marketing’ in its most general terms, what do you think of?

 

        • Target audience?
        • Content?
        • Promotion?
        • Branding?
        • Digitalization?

 

And everything in between!

With the Business reports, the listed marketing concepts are already answered and implemented. You just need to realize that it’s not just about the data… It’s about the visualization of data. 

 

Firstly, let’s tackle the audience that you wish to target with your company’s report: 

 

        • Company employees
        • Company Stakeholders
        • Industry colleagues
        • Competitors
        • General public

 

Each reader will try to take something away from the report.

 

With marketing and quite specifically your company’s Business reports, you have to hone your data collection skills as well as your design skills to really impress the people you want to impress but in the language that they understand.

 

Here is where the concept of storytelling comes into play.

 

Art in the Business Report: Combine Art with Science 

 

A great story deserves a great design. Writing a report that also tells a story needs crisp content and captivating imagery. That’s why they can be referred to as ‘communication reports’. Adhering to your very own brand colors and guidelines sets you apart from the crowd already. All you have to do is combine art with science

Also chekout Prezlab’s presentation design services 

 

KEY ASPECTS OF STORYTELLING

 

01. Generate interest:

 

This can be achieved by turning mundane financial information into engaging elements of storytelling. 

 

02. Educate & engage your audience:

 

Readers understand the contents of the report better through an interactive story. 

 

03. Connect with your company:

 

There can be no interaction with a faceless corporation. By humanizing the report, there is an emotional attachment which connects to people.

 

04. Create trust & confidence in your organization:

 

A great story, backed with real data can increase trust among the audience.

 

 

PrezLab Presentation Design: Case Studies for your Inspiration

 

With a strong narrative and a seamless design-friendly report, you can turn your quantitative content into a compelling piece of content that truly connects with your readers, whoever they may be.

 

Here’s how:

01. Know the Narrative

 

The famous Simon Sinek imparts this philosophy

“The why can help set a vision to inspire people, the why can guide us to act with purpose, with purpose”

 

What’s your why? “You might want to educate your reader, influence their decision-making, shed light on a challenge, or reveal interesting insights that support your case”. In report designs, the objective caters to that single narrative that captures your reader’s attention and therefore guides them to the desired conclusion. This is important especially when dealing with data-heavy content. The data itself should adhere and adapt to a compelling narrative that results in a creative business report.

 

Example:
We collaborated with “UAE’s Prime Minister’s office” to create the Wellbeing Book, outlining the welfare of the nation and its citizens, in terms of security, connectivity, health and prosperity.

 

 

A good story needs a good storyteller. And what better way to capture a topic like this than to go to the source, the locals, and create a design that not only illustrates their thoughts and opinions, but also craft a sense of connection when they read this creative book while utilizing localized characters, whether real-life images or 2D animations.

 

The content itself includes both quantitative and qualitative data that needed to be condensed in the way that gets the most important parts across, and ultimately allows the readers to be aware of the world around them and their overall happiness in their country.

 

02. Use the Right Language

 

Perception, association, and loyalty are all factors that the readers extract from the visual language that is your brand. And so, the language and tone you use within the storyline of your report affects how they absorb the narrative. It’s important to speak in their level and always follow your brand voice.
Don’t talk above them, down to them, or bore them to death with jargon and buzzwords.
Example:
We collaborated with “Abu Dhabi Housing Authority” to create a Business Report highlighting the organization’s mission, strategic goals and potential threats, work environment, its contributors and partners.

 

 

When it comes to collaborating with a governmental entity specifically, language is the most important element when creating and developing their business report. The entity’s brand voice is the anchor of all data, design, visualization and creativity. In order to reflect the why, what and how of the organization, the storyline; from the entity’s past, to its present and finally it’s future, should be addressed to those who matter. And so therefore the tone and language is consistent, intentional and hopeful.

 

03. Use Imagery

 

Everything from your cover design to the thumbnail you use on social helps you appeal to readers, but striking the right balance of visuals and copy is the key to great report design.

 

Example:

We collaborated with a governmental entity to create an Advanced Innovation Strategy Document, outlining the innovation strategy put forth by the entity. 

 

 

From concept creation to customization of each page in the book, imagery as you can see takes over the attention of the reader. While complying with the entity’s brand guidelines, the professional and localized design elements make a big difference.

04. Dress it up with Data Visualization

 

“Good data visualization is not just a design choice; it helps readers comprehend and retain the information presented. Data is often the star of a report, but it can easily get lost without good data visualization. (Even worse, it can be misinterpreted with incorrect data design.)”

 

Example:
We collaborated with UAE’s Government Accelerators”to create an Infographic Manual Design, showcasing a design-friendly concept that explains and promotes the 100 Day Challenge Manual.

 

 

As you can see, the rich illustration of infographics are designed in an intelligible and modern style, while adhering to the visual and branding identity of the organization. As we mentioned before…. Data is important, but it is the visualization of data that attracts the audience, especially your target audience.

 

Conclusion

 

Communicating effectively and efficiently is by far the most influential tool in your daily life. But to incorporate that with design is even more influential… The mere fact of connecting through a screen and a nonverbal approach puts you and your brand in the good books. If you do it well.

 

“A Business report is an important extension of your brand’s story, yet many brands don’t prioritize them and their design”. Your objective might range from simply presenting your data in a design-friendly way that can easily be interpreted, or showcasing your culture, goals, progress or even failures…. Regardless, great design is the key to making a lasting impression. It’s a WIN. WIN.

 

And if you need a little help with your own report design or storytelling. let’s chat about it.

Also read:

Infographics for Business 101

5 Ways to Completely Attract, Convert and Retain your Prospects with your Presentation

Other insights

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