Monday, November 03, 2014

Award Winning Annual Reports--from a Municipal Power Utility

The Holland Board of Public Works has earned another recognition for its annual report, according to a story in the Holland Sentinel.

The work behind the creative annual report comes from Randy Boileau and Boileau Communications.

Apparently, this is the latest in a four-year run of awards for annual reports Boileau created for the municipal power concern.

What's interesting is that most people think "corporate" when they think annual reports. They also might think of thin paper, black and white pro-forma template content, and dense tables. Of course, many corporate reports do offer a basic 10K in compliance with SEC requirements, but also offer more colorful and creative content either on paper or online.

But nonprofits, governmental agencies and non-public corporations also should and do issue annual reports. This is because the annual document is not merely an act of compliance, but an opportunity to build and maintain stakeholder relationships and reputation.

As Boileau notes in the Sentinel story, annual reports are a great form of storytelling. Doing so in digital format not only saves printing and distribution costs, but allows an expanded reach and the opportunity for social shares and interaction.

The current 2014 BPW Annual Report, released the same day the award for 2013 was announced, illustrates the power (yes, pun intended in this case) of an online annual report. There is significant visual appeal, content is packaged and navigated easily--I like the "stories, facts, impact" outline of the current issue--and the substance of the content is informative and reader-centric. In short, it provides a great service to stakeholders.

So, congratulations for an award goes to the Holland BPW and Boileau Communications. And thanks also for an example of best practice work to practitioners and to the positive impact of PR to the public at large.

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