Annual report angst: What makes editors despair?

A new study reveals why this yearly ritual, culminating in frenzy late each spring, is such an ordeal for communicators.

A new study reveals why this yearly ritual culminating in frenzy late each spring is such an ordeal for communicators

A new research study conducted by Ragan Research, a division of Ragan Communications in Chicago, has identified the causes that make the production of annual reports a trial under fire for communicators. The majority of editors, entrusted with the most crucial print document that their organizations put out, dread annual report time like the flu season, say the authors of the study, The Annual Report 2007, Trends and Best Practices.

Why all this fuss and consternation? The causes are complex, and rooted in the very nature of organizations. Divided responsibility and fragmented, uncoordinated sources of statistics, reporting and features, all signal the deep distrust of communication that permeates most organizations, especially corporations, say the writers of the report.

What makes annual report editors most miserable?

Here are some of the main elements of the free-for-all, according to the writers and editors who responded:

1. Tiny annual report budgets. Perhaps the single most potent causes of editorial anguish are lack of money and its twin, lack of time

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