15/05/2020

Annual Reports - Online or On Paper?

The answer is simple: it depends who's reading it - or more to the point, how are they reading it? Over the years we have seen the volumes of printed annual reports reduce dramatically as the documents themselves expand to bursting point with the additional disclosure requirements. But of course that's not to suggest less readership - quite the contrary.

While the emphasis for most public companies will be directed towards shareholders and potential investors there is a growing list of stakeholders who want to know more... more about vision, purpose, strategy, performance, supply chains, sustainability, equality and perhaps some might have a passing interest in the Directors' remuneration? So for all of those stakeholders who are not on the list to receive a carefully crafted, lovingly designed and skillfully printed report through their letterbox, the same information will be published online, at the same time for their perusal.

But published how? We believe that content that is intended to be published online, should be designed for online. And that's exactly the approach we took with Irish Continental Group plc when we designed and produced their annual report in both HTML and printed formats. While we are delighted with the printed end result, put simply, HTML does more with the same content. It's easier to navigate; it accommodates rich media; it's measureable; it's accessible - in every sense of the word. And it's designed for its natural environment so that it is responsive, more easily findable and totally searchable. And for all those 'see more on page...' instances it is wonderfully clickable - so integrated reporting is more conveniently achievable.

Recent times have seen how we have all adapted to a new reality and embraced technology in many aspects of communications. And while working remotely, conducting meetings virtually and publishing digitally are not new concepts, I expect there will be a greater emphasis on digital engagement with stakeholders and maximising multi-channel communications in the very near future.

While we can't deliver you the printed report in all its CMYK glory, we can lead you to the HTML and PDF of the reports for comparison which can be found at ICG's corporate website: https://icg.ie/investors/reports-and-presentations/ (also designed and produced by Source) or directly at: http://icg.annualreport19.com/

It is also worth mentioning that ICG, its businesses and the wider Dublin Port community continue to work on the front line, safely facilitating the importing and exporting of essential goods, supporting our economy and providing a vital link in our supply chains across Ireland during this Covid-19 crisis.