Your 2017 annual report: How to chronicle a banner year

As you wrap up the past 12 months for shareholders and employees, keep in mind these 10 tips for rendering the good news with a steady eye on the future.

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The stock market’s bull run has become a stampede, smashing record highs time and again. As of this writing the S&P 500 Index is up 19 percent year to date, with strong returns rippling across most sectors.

Barring any last-minute calamity, most annual reports will come bearing good—if not great—news for shareholders.

Of course, amid the investor euphoria, it might be tempting to view this year’s report as a slam dunk. Roll out the great news, sprinkle in a few notes of caution about the future unknown, and call it a day.

Yet positioning an annual report for a good year can be every bit as challenging as doing so after a year when your shareholders got clobbered. It’s essential to be thoughtful and strategic, both in advising your leaders and executing the report itself.

Here are 10 things to think about as you consider how to tell the story of a banner year:

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