The year in stories
Reaching a new audience
Annual Report 2014
Liberty Global, the world's largest international cable company, opens up the content of their Annual Report to an audience beyond investors, publishing it online with a focus on storytelling.
Over the last three years we have worked together closely with Liberty Global to improve the quality of the stories in their Annual Reports.
We are getting such great feedback and I think everyone agrees that it’s the best one yet.
Hanne Thue Wolf, Vice President Corporate Communications
The online Annual Report focuses on telling the year’s stories. We address not only investors, but also the press, public, politicians, employees and jobseekers. For all of these stakeholders, we are looking for interesting stories. In a global company like Liberty Global, this content may be hidden in all corners of the world.
In November we kick off with a working session with the corporate communication people from Liberty Global. Together we identify possible topics and map them against the different stakeholders of the Annual Report. We try to define at least a dozen ideas for stories.
These stories then need to be dug up from a lot of different sources within the company. To facilitate this ‘story mining’ we developed specific guidelines, that were translated by Liberty Global into a concise form that people in the company can fill out. This way they get an understanding of the type of content that we are looking for. In the form we also ask them to think about visuals like video material, photos or infographics.
A professional copywriter writes the story, based on this raw material and we review the input for possible visualizations.
In 2013, Liberty Global acquired Virgin Media in a 24 billion dollar deal, and this logically became the cover story of the 2013 Annual Report. It soon became apparent that, while a lot had happened in 2014, there was no main cover story. We therefore wanted to present the stories on the homepage of the Annual Report as a mosaic, with no specific hierarchy.
Special attention was given to the message from the CEO. In a lot of online annual reports this is just a talking head; Mike Fries, Liberty Global's CEO, however, walks around talking about the company in his own words. The video was produced inhouse by Liberty Global.
When the report was launched it was supported with an internal campaign, encouraging all employees to share the stories on their own social media.
Have a look at the Liberty Global 2014 Annual Report online, or read our article: From predictable ritual to surprising annual: 5 design principles for financial reporting