2023 Annual Reports: Writing and Organizing Content
I’m going to talk about organizing your content in a way I haven’t done before. So I looked to Bono. Bono was featured last year on CBS Sunday Morning (the type of journalism I always wanted to be). And when Norah O’Donnell asked Bono how he got ideas for his song, he said "In anything, I was always looking for the top line melody."
"Describe what you mean when you say top line melodies?" asked O'Donnell.
"It's the thing in the room that rises above the noise and the chatter," he said. "That's my job. I'm looking for the clear thought in most things that I do. The best melodies are the ones that you hear around the corner and you go, 'What's that?' Top line melody."
Today, for the first time in all the years I’ve tried to teach annual report writing. I’m going to give you a way to make your stories as simple and straightforward as this.
And I’m going to use (in a slightly different way than was maybe intended) the work of my favorite resource for using data to tell stories (and you know, that’s what annual reports are DATA stories: data that looks like infographics, data that looks like images, and data the looks like words.
Let’s go visit the website of Effective Data Storytelling and author Brent Dykes book by that name. . https://www.effectivedatastorytelling.com/post/a-deeper-dive-into-lego-bricks-and-data-stories
So, we are going to look at Dykes’ steps for storytelling.
- Data collection: You gather data on something to measure and understand its performance or behaviors.
- Data preparation: You cleanse, organize, and combine the data so it’s ready to be analyzed.
- Data visualization: You visualize the data so people can more easily monitor and understand what’s happening.
- Data analysis: You examine the data for insights that matter to a specific audience.
- Data storytelling: You explain your insights with narrative and visuals so they resonate and inspire change.