VIENNA, VA: While producing an annual report remains a company-wide effort, IR pros usually find themselves in a leadership role. But with production costs climbing and more companies looking to the Web to showcase their reports, the task has become more comprehensive than ever before.
VIENNA, VA: While producing an annual report remains a company-wide
effort, IR pros usually find themselves in a leadership role. But with
production costs climbing and more companies looking to the Web to
showcase their reports, the task has become more comprehensive than ever
These were some of the main findings from the National Investor
Relations Institute’s (NIRI) fourth Annual Report Survey, released
earlier this month.
According to the survey, 56% of respondents identified the IR department
as project manager for the annual report (up from 44% in 1996). However,
almost all agree that the project requires significantly more expertise
than a typical IR department can offer - meaning that all of a company’s
communicators usually wind up pitching in.
The survey places the average budget of producing an annual report at
dollars 138,000, a figure that includes production and distribution but
The average cost per copy jumped to dollars 4.38, up from dollars 4.01
Not surprisingly, use of the Internet to disseminate annual reports is
way up - 76% are placed online, up 45% from 1999. ’There’s been a
dramatic increase,’ said NIRI president and CEO Louis Thompson. ’This is
a phenomenon that’s been surging over the last two years.’ An additional
11% of respondents said they plan to debut online versions of their
reports within two years.
Still, many industry experts, such as Newsletter on Annual Reports
publisher Sid Cato, feel that the technology has quite a way to go.
’A lot of people want to do bells and whistles,’ he said. ’It’s really
exciting, but the technology isn’t there right now to make it friendly
enough for novice users.’
Meanwhile, 76% of those polled put the online report together at the
same time they plan the traditional printed version. With a watchful eye
on disclosure rules, 91% of respondents said they do not include
additional information in the online version.
The survey, conducted for NIRI by the Rivel Research Group, drew upon a
random sampling of the institute’s database. NIRI currently boasts
approximately 4,500 members in 31 chapters around the country.