As corporate storytellers, our purpose is to help people make good long-term decisions by making business understandable through memorable storytelling. We collaborate with our clients to tell their stories in an engaging way for their stakeholders. 

We’re a big advocate for utilising storytelling in your communications; this article will detail how we would do this for you.

The importance of storytelling

Your story provides a high-level overview of your year. It establishes the theme or key messaging, and helps your reader to remember the main points. The story points to past actions, such as what you’ve accomplished in the financial year; future prospects, including showing your long-term viability; and also points to other sections in your annual report or website, which draws the reader in.

The importance of including a story with a core theme can be summed up in this quote from Column Five Media: “Crafting your report with a meaningful through line makes it easier to digest what’s in the report and lets you showcase your brand in its best light.” 

There are additional benefits, too. According to a report from PwC: “Narrative reporting offers a mechanism to support the creation of a more commercially attractive and differentiated picture of the business, which can lead to better investor understanding and improved stakeholder relationships.”

The process of creating your story

There are a number of things we do in order to get to the heart of your messaging and tell your story.

Getting to know you

Research

Our research into your company covers many aspects of your communications, from your annual reports and the latest RNS announcements, to investor presentations and your corporate website, along with media articles.

Analysis

We ask questions: What value do you create for your stakeholders? What are your competitive advantages? What are your future growth plans and does your business model support this? What is your strategy? What is your marketplace like and where is your place within this? What is your financial situation and is it sustainable in the long term? How are you dealing with risks? What consideration do you give to ESG issues? What stakeholder groups are you targeting with your communications? How strong is your governance?

Meetings

Collaborating with clients is important to us, so we will also have meetings with you. We outline our recommendations for improving your reporting, share our story ideas, and work together with you to make your story understandable. 

Gathering story ideas

Your investor presentations, trading updates, and RNS announcements provide the latest information on what you’ve achieved over the past year, along with your current and future plans, and helps us to shape your story. We also use our meetings with you to obtain ideas. If you have a specific theme that you want to focus on, we work with you to craft the message.

From draft to final version

We write a draft version based on our research and analysis of your company. The story contains your theme for this year, and includes three or four key points along with paragraphs (bullet points in the first draft) that provide high-level information and links to more detail elsewhere.

Following this, we talk through your story in our meeting, and create the story in full based on our collaboration.

This is incorporated into our wireframe document. If it’s for an annual report, your story is usually placed at the beginning; for your online report, the story is introduced on the home page. It is then woven throughout other sections of your reporting – depending on your requirements, this might include reference to the theme from the Chairman and CEO in their letters or reports, a compelling investment case, theme-based case studies and Q&As, with the theme written into introductory sections as well, such as strategy, business model, performance, and governance, if applicable. Each client and story is different, so how we tell the story will vary.

When we present the wireframe to you, we talk through your story again and make amendments based on your input.

We also consider visual storytelling. Our creative team collaborates with you to bring your story to life through design.

Publishing your story

We take a multi-channel approach to publishing your story. This includes telling your story in your annual report and on your corporate website. You can use the story in your social media posts to announce the publication of your annual report or website, and also include it in your internal communication with employees.

Incorporating a story into your annual report or corporate website is an effective way for you to provide your readers with a high-level introduction to your year. This can serve to draw them into the rest of your reporting, with the aim of leaving them with a memorable story that motivates them to invest in your company.

If you would like to discuss incorporating storytelling into your next annual report or corporate website, please get in touch.