Activity report and communication: deciphering a revolution

For several years now, the activity report has undergone a transformation. From an arid financial document, it has evolved to impose itself today as a communication tool in its own right. His new challenge: to embody the company. Between the impetus for legislation and new communication practices, deciphering a support not like the others, with The Editorialist.

From obligation to communication opportunity

Legally, only SA, SARL and SNC[1]have the obligation to draw up an activity report. Intended for their shareholders, this document initially gave an account of the annual accounts and corporate accounts and communicated the legal information relating to the company. Since September 2017, and the transposition of a European directive[2], some companies are now also required to make a declaration of extra-financial performance. The integrated report thus developed. An obligation, of course, but above all an opportunity to make this new system a real tool for strategic management and communication original! 

Because it is clear that today, the integrated report has become much more than a factual document updated year after year. Companies have indeed seized the formidable communication opportunity that it represents, to the point of making it one of the cornerstones of their marketing strategy. contents. An additional opportunity to promote its DNA and its values, to carry strong convictions, to give voice to its employees, and to present its strategy in a different light. How? 'Or' What ? By reinventing the content, but also the form. By not simply addressing its shareholders, but its entire ecosystem and stakeholders. No more boring administrative document, hello the originality of the content! Content that lives in the long term, thanks to a diffusion multichannel, and on which the organization can thus capitalize throughout the year. 

Embody, decline, disseminate

???? Promote extra-financial information

Creating an integrated activity report is first and foremost a way to enhance your extra-financial information. There are many themes to discuss! Company activity, also the business model and value creation, purpose, commitments, understanding of the context and its opportunities, governance, perspectives ... Valued by many formats editorials journalistic style more and more popular with companies: frominterview to the tribune, through thearticle decryption… The ideal? Vary the formats, make them coexist, to create a dynamic, rhythmic and coherent whole. 

Le L'Oréal Group activity report illustrates this transformation well, with an editorial carried by Jean-Paul Agon, managing director, in the form of an interview; short and varied formats for disseminating information from the past year - quotes from employees, briefs highlighting company initiatives and news -; key figures and leaders' forums… all of which fit together perfectly throughout the document. For a dynamic rendering that is pleasant to read.

(I.e. Create a concept and offer a real exercise in style

This support is also an opportunity to think about its global communication: how embody the company ? How to keep your communication alive throughout the year? Like a white paper or branded book, the integrated report is an opportunity to propose an original concept and a real exercise in style: choose a particular tone, imagine the formats and words that will bring it to life, and decline its concept throughout the themes that will be discussed.

Le Kering annual report, in 2019, is a perfect example. Its concept: keep your baseline alive "Empowering imagination". From the editorial, the tone is set: " This is why we encourage our 38 employees to always cultivate sincerity, curiosity and daring. And never to stop looking at the world with their childish eyes ". To support it, from the next page: photos of their employees… at their youngest age. And because a concept only works if it is truly declined, the management committee also lent itself to the exercise. No more classic and corporate portraits. A concept is assumed and declined. Like a conviction, which must be exploited, reused and pushed to its maximum.

🎥 Focus on an enhanced digital version and long-term content 

Now, businesses don't just upload a downloadable and printable PDF. Who says activity report, also says version digital increased: the website has become so much more than a simple file host designed for print! Think about all the possibilities that the digital offers : video, motion design, dynamic data visualization, podcasts, etc. Up to formats from Social networks, who are just starting to leave these platforms. The most significant example: the story. Short, dynamic format, making it possible to enhance and illustrate information in a few screens, widely acclaimed by information consumers more and more in a hurry, and still little used by companies, the story is integrated on social networks as on sites Internet. Like her, all of this content keeps your annual report alive! Much more than a look back on the previous year, the latter makes it possible to inaugurate an annual communication cycle and to continue to bring to life, through formats that can live independently from each other, the information highlighted in the thread of the pages.

To summarize, the activity report has become an essential opportunity to embark its teams, its stakeholders, in a communication strategy who no longer remains confined to the report, but who lives all year round, and beyond. Dynamic, original and fully personalized, it enhances the value of company information better than any other medium, especially when it reuses the codes of the press, social networks and digital. Great way to integrate all stakeholders, it is also an excellent opportunity to integrate employees into its production and to make them ambassadors. 

In short, a common project built around a shared objective: that of bringing the company to life and illustrating its purpose and acting on a daily basis.


Getting to know The Editorialist better

The Editorialist is an editorial team specializing in the production of high added value content and the creation of multilingual digital media. Their six convictions are: 

  • # 1 External and internal communication essential ingredient to make its strategy readable by all its stakeholders
  • # 2 journalistic tone and formats
  • # 3 Speeches and testimonials to embody the projects
  • # 4 Field reports and key figures for evidence-based argumentation
  • # 5 Impactful, snackable formats that can be disseminated on all internal and external communication channels
  • # 6 The participation of personalities external to the organization and of stakeholders to enhance its ecosystem and position itself as an expert in its sector.

To find out more, chat with a editorial expert.

Bonus: some sources of inspiration

The Editorialist produces many formats including:

• motion design videos like for RATP activity report,
• stories for Le Figaro or even the United Nations sustainable development agenda,
• podcast such as "Words of experts" from the CEA List,
• regular posts on social networks which bring the company strategy to life all year round with Eurazeo,
• the integration of stakeholders with Orange,
• employee participation with Pernod-Ricard in the provision of company information.

[1] Public Limited Company (SA), Limited Liability Company (SARL), Collective Name Company (SNC)

[2] Directive 2014/95 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 22, 2014 amending Directive 2013/34 / EU as regards the publication of non-financial information and information relating to diversity by certain large companies and some groups

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