The end-of-year numbers are in. You are reviewing the strategic goals you set for the year and seeing how they came to fruition. This year’s plans have been made and are underway. Now is the time to start compiling your reportable statistical data and brainstorming the information you wish to share with your valued members through your annual report.
Annual reports are more than just a requirement. The annual report you present reflects your credit union’s brand, culture, and voice. It is a key opportunity to connect with your members in an impactful, memorable, and personal way.
Annual Report Priorities
When you plan this year’s annual report, consider what your credit union’s goals are.
These may include:
- Reporting official financial information and performance figures from 2021
- Keeping members informed about your credit union’s accomplishments
- Defining goals for the current year
- Providing an organizational strategic summary
- Reflecting on the mission statement
- Identifying how your credit union is living People Helping People and incorporating the Eight Cooperative Principles
- Sharing messages from your credit union leadership to its members
- Communicating any differentiators that you want members to know about, such as community service, financial education, or other unique activities
Design & Format
Annual reports and annual meetings go hand-in-hand. If you are holding an in-person annual meeting, you will want some hard copies to share with attendees. You may also opt to do a mailing that includes your annual report to reach members who may not prefer accessing the report online.
Creating a digital version reaches members virtually. If your meeting is held remotely, the digital annual report is easily accessed and shared. It also can be conveniently shared through an email campaign.
Increasingly, credit unions are going beyond the traditional PDF and opting to create their reports as an interactive digital publication (IDP). Any traditional publication can be brought to life in this format. IDPs are:
- Timely: Send at your convenience
- Cost-Efficient: Save in time, printing, and mailing costs
- Measurable: Trace results on opens, clicks, and readership
- Receptive: Get a higher response rate with audiences who opt-in to email communications
“Interactive Digital Publications (IDPs) provide more than just information, they provide an experience that can be accessed anytime, anywhere,” shared Doug MacDonald, Vice President of Synergent Marketing Services. “You want to grab members’ attention while providing valuable information. Offering an engaging vehicle to share and convey proactive and pertinent content provides a personalized experience for each member and is key to creating memorable connections.”
Regardless of which format you choose to use, keep the following in mind to guide your content from the start:
- Establish your objectives
- Include strong branding and a creative title
- Grab attention throughout with graphics and strong headlines
- Integrate your message across channels
Sample IDP Annual Report
OTIS Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Jay, ME, ($229,260,985 assets, 11,074 members), has partnered with Synergent for many years in creating numerous campaigns. Their most recent 2020 Annual Report was created as their second annual report IDP. This digital-forward approach included easy-to-navigate pages that are responsive when viewed on all devices. The theme focused on journeys: the membership journey and the journey the credit union has taken. Readers were provided with social media links, current product and service offerings, and a listing of the staff and leadership team.
“The goals of the OTIS Digital Annual Report were to encourage engagement in our virtual Annual Meeting and to present pertinent information in a concise, visually appealing, and accessible way,” explained Sarah Hayes, Director of Marketing and Communications at OTIS FCU. “The document was shared with the entire membership on social media and via email, and is also hosted on our website. We just learned that this piece is being honored with a CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Diamond Award this year, the ranking of which will be announced in March. I am proud of the collaboration between our dedicated teams to achieve this remarkable success, and consider Synergent to be an indispensable and outstanding creative partner.”
The report received 1,238 page views. 86% were new users and 14% returning users.
Want to get started on your annual report? No matter what format you decide to create, Synergent’s award-winning Marketing Services team can help. Contact your dedicated Marketing Services Representative, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.