Nexxar posted this graph via Twitter today, showing the change in the presentation of annual reports by FTSE 100 companies over the last few years.
It shows very clearly that an increasing number of companies over the last couple of years have decided to go for an online HTML annual report, rather than purely PDF or JPG implementations.
We think this is good news. Although we like to see PDFs available for download on the corporate website (ideally indexed, so that visitors can select just the part of the report that interests them, if they choose, rather than the whole unwieldy document), this is in addition to an online annual report. Having the report online, rather than just in PDF, saves the visitor time and makes it easier for them to find the information that they need.
Even now, many visitors will still be using dial-up services rather than broadband – either by choice or because that is all they have access to – and a big download can take a long, long time. Even in those areas of the country where broadband is available, it isn’t usually the superfast kind that a few urban areas of the country have access to.
So an online annual report makes it much quicker for the visitor to find information. It also makes it easier, because better cross-linking and navigation can be put in place in an HTML implementation, along with clever tools that enhance the information provision with elements of interactivity.
And it seems that despite the recession, companies agree that the HTML report is preferable; as shown by the Nexxar graph. This is rapidly becoming the de facto standard, not an extra.
So, when everyone has an online annual report, how will you make yours stand out?
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