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Henry Stimpson’s PR and Marketing Tips
March 2003

Making It New—Or Getting Both Steak and Sizzle

With annual reports—or anything that’s periodic—you face the challenge of “making it new” every time. It’s easy to get into a rut and bore your audience.

A respected insurer of municipalities approached us with just that problem. Its executive director felt that its last annual report sounded too much like the previous report.

The previous reports were a bit heavy on self-promotional language and a bit light on substance—not enough steak for the sizzle, I believed. So, in developing the new copy, I dug out all the relevant facts to tell a compelling story about the great things the company has done for its members and how it will help them reduce losses and save money in the future.

The copy was detailed enough to be convincing without overwhelming readers with minutia. Bullets in each major section let readers learn about key accomplishments in a glance.

We worked closely with the organization’s talented designer and gave her ideas on selecting photographs that conveyed dynamism—like a stock picture of a Tai Chi class to illustrate the company’s wellness program.

The copy approach and graphics “made it new” while the report kept its familiar size and format.

copyright Stimpson Communications


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