Fact or Fiction; Fiction or Fact! Annual Report Edition
Fiction: City Council will love this 400 page word document.
Fact: No. They. Won’t.*
*BONUS: they won’t even read it.
Fiction: Every single data point I have ever collected over the year is critical to demonstrating my success.
Fact: Nope. If we’re honest, there are a few key statistics that really support the story you’re telling. Find those. Share them, and then file that ugly excel spreadsheet away.
Fiction: What I do is so complex, I can’t simplify it so that a resident can understand.
Fact: True, some of the work we do as local government rivals that of a physicist...wait, some local government employees actually are physicists. Regardless, take this Albert Einstein quote to heart, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Fiction: Nobody reads these things anyway.
Fact: Well, of course not! Not when you’re trying to bore them to tears within the first three sentences. If you produce an easy-to-read, engaging annual report I promise people will read it...and I have the stats to prove it:
Poudre Fire Authority's Online Annual Report
Since May 2015
Fiction: A professionally produced annual report is just too expensive and a waste of taxpayer money.
Fact: There are options to fit every budget and every community whether you produce a one page flyer or a stand alone website complete with infographics, videos and photos. Investing just a small amount in your annual report can make a big difference.
Fiction: Outside of delivering a hard copy to every door, there is no effective way to distribute an annual report.
Fact: Oh please! No one is advocating you hand deliver an annual report to every household; although inserting your print piece into the local paper isn’t a bad idea. Outside of the usual methods, here are a few other ways to distribute:
- Break up the graphics into individual images and share on social media
- Share with Realtors, Chambers of Commerce, and other professional organizations that can distribute on your behalf
- Create an online online version and eliminate distribution worries altogether