Winners 2017

Best annual report – listed organisation

In Good Company
Be Heard
Agency: emperor

When a chairman’s statement starts with the words ‘The Chairman’s Statement – three words that have introduced annual reports for over a century but which sound a little stiff for the digital era…’, it becomes clear that this is an annual report that is going to do things differently.

Be Heard Group is a digital marketing group focused on helping clients maximise their return on investment in digital channels. For its maiden report, Be Heard wanted to introduce itself to the marketplace, tell its story in a compelling way and showcase recent acquisitions.

Demonstrating its different approach from the outset, Be Heard’s report is printed in a wirebound, A4 landscape format. The front section lays out the company’s story in simple, catchy language. As it moves into the statutory reporting section, which the report calls End of 1st term report it explains how the digital landscape is changing and the opportunities this provides.

Wireframe illustrations and bespoke photography are littered throughout the section. Each agency acquired by Be Heard since it started life 15 months ago also explains its role and expertise, complete with case study to demonstrate its work in action.

The founders are referred to by their first names, and in one instance (to show who was who in a photo) ‘the bearded one’. The tone of voice has been carefully created to reflect the informal style of the partnership but also to stand out from the crowd.

As a digital business, the format of Be Heard’s report was very much digital-first with the development of a stylish online summary. ‘This report demonstrated the company’s clear purpose,’ said the judges. ‘And the digital-first approach matched its own ethos.’