Reports can be powerful documents for a company to have. They show that the company is interested in and takes seriously their industry and can often position them as an expert in said industry. A report can be a great document to have on your company website so prospective customers can learn a lot of information about the industry or specific company all at once. They can also be great printed documents to send to or hand out to prospective customers or any audience who may be interested in the industry or your company stats. It shows that you take the time to do research and compile useful information for the consumption of your audiences. There are a couple things to keep in mind when putting together your report, in order to make it as useful and simple as possible.
- Do lots of research. The more research you have the better your findings and report will be. You don’t want to start writing the report and realize you don’t have enough data to make sense of it. Also make sure you have done research about the aspects that will serve as background for your report. Maybe your report is on one specific piece of the industry, but it’s helpful to offer background on the details of the other companies you included in the report in order to make it a well-rounded write up.
- Compile all the data in an easy to understand format. You need to be able to comb through the information and determine what you want to use and how best to lay it out in the document. Nothing will be more frustrating later than trying to go through your data and realizing it’s a jumbled mess that you cannot decipher anymore.
- Break it up into sections. Everything is easier to read when it is in sections. Break it down and give each piece a clear heading. Keep it all clear and concise, while including enough information and background that it makes sense to the reader.
- Make it look nice. Use graphics and charts to help illustrate the main points as well as help make it look pleasing to the eye. Use at least one color besides black and white to add interest. Don’t go crazy here, you don’t want to go overboard, but you don’t want it to look boring either.
- Proof read three times and have someone else do it too. Go over all the text and all the information and make sure it all makes sense and there are no errors. Make sure that any potential questions are answered in the report. This is where it is a good time to have someone else help you, because they will be able to give an honest opinion about whether it all makes sense or if some of the information brought up questions that did not seem fully answered in the document. Being so close to the industry and the project you may find certain things obvious, but different questions arise to an outsider.
Once you have a great report, distribute it by every means you have. Put a PDF of it on your website and link to it on social media and include it in your monthly newsletter. Print some copies to send to people who may be interested and give it out to prospective clients. If it is an industry report on a general topic, send it to trade publications who may be interested in publishing it or linking to it on their website as a resource for others in the industry. People will appreciate being able to see a neatly compiled report about data that is important to them and they will look upon you as an expert in the field for having compiled it.
If you think you may want help creating or compiling a report for your company, contact us to see how we can help!