Tell your story

The sixth of our “Nine Secrets of Integrated Reporting Success”

The internet, social media and smartphones have hampered our ability to concentrate for long periods. With so many sources vying for our attention (a zero-sum game), your integrated report must be interesting to capture and hold the interest of time-poor, overwhelmed and easily bored readers.

Storytelling is one solution. Human beings are evolutionarily hard-wired to respond to the power of narrative. But for your story to be effective, it has to be authentic and genuine. Trust that the weaving together of your corporate challenges, aspirations, successes and failures into one coherent narrative will be interesting, so long as you take the time to be creative and empathetic.

Put yourselves in the shoes of the reader. What will appeal to them? What are they looking for when they read your report? What might they be pleasantly surprised by? What might distract or annoy them?

For instance, we recommend thinking carefully about how the report’s design can best support your overarching narrative, how your case studies link to your business goals, whether the priorities raised in the CEO / Chairman letter are reflected in the structure of the report, and using infographics, icons, video and animation wherever possible to improve engagement and break up text.