How we turned lengthy reports into engaging bite-sized content.

Research has shown that our attention spans are getting shorter – shrinking by 25% to just about 8 seconds in just a few years. With so much information out there, bite-sized content like short videos on IG Stories, TikTok or Twitter updates tends to do best when engaging a wider audience.

Periodic reports, such as annual and sustainability reports, are a key part of running a company. They are a great source of information, allow for greater transparency and a good way to track a company’s growth. But at an average length of nearly 200 pages, most of these annual reports go unread.

We saw an opportunity for greater communication.

The Brief

The challenge before us was to transform these substantive reports into content that can reach a wider audience.

We took the latest annual report from a local engineering and infrastructure company and discovered a wealth of information that was never adequately communicated to the general public other than dry news articles written for the business community. Malaysians were aware that the company had started the year in the red as a result of disruptions in the construction industry, but digging through the annual report revealed that the company managed to realign their priorities and close the year on a high note.

However, the annual report was not accessible to the general public. Like many others, this company traditionally uploads their annual report as a PDF on the corporate website, reserving print copies for their key stakeholders. This limits the accessibility of the report, restricting it to only a select group – namely employees, partners, and shareholders.

Our solution? Story-tell the company’s 2019 transformation by breaking the annual report into bite-sized content perfect for today’s fast-moving audience. Shorter content ‘bites’ are easier to notice, consume and share especially on platforms like social media where 72% of Malaysians get their news today.

Our Approach

01 Know what message to convey – 
Our first step was to figure out the overall message to convey. 2019 was a tough year for many businesses but this company managed to maintain robust financial performance while realigning their priorities to adjust to a new market paradigm in the country. For them, the key message to convey was growth – how the company managed to transform and grow even stronger paradigm in the country. For them, the key message to convey was growth – how the company managed to transform and grow even stronger.

02 Pick out the highlights –
Next, we broke the report down into the essentials. We picked out three highlights that demonstrated the true extent of the progress made over the year: how the company actually did over the year, how the company has transformed to overcome disruptions in the industry and how it has embraced digital transformation in the industry.

03 Develop and employ a cohesive design language –
Presenting data in research reports can be a tedious process. To make it visually appealing to general audience, we used typography, different layouts, and prudent use of colour to create dynamic impact, all while retaining the brand’s personality and adherinng to its existing corporate identity.

04 Show, don’t tell –
It’s not enough to just say that the company has grown over the past year; we made sure to back up all the highlights with data drawn from the report itself.

We also didn’t just rely on plain text to tell the story; using a combination of typography and animation, we created a short and snappy video to narrate the company’s growth.

Recommendations

Good things come in smaller packages.
Appeal to a wider audience by transforming existing content tailored for specific audiences into short, bite-sized pieces that anyone can understand.

Create content that is visually attractive and memorable. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but if it doesn’t carry impact, it’s not going to capture your audience.