Organizations in B Corp, Benefit Corporation, and the social impact space are hard at work creating their annual Impact Reports now. I’m taking part in my first impact report this year as a board member. It’s a wide-reaching effort that involves many people and requires a lot of time and care.
Once done, though, I’ve noticed that many organizations don’t make the most of their impact (cute, right?). Just as Fortune 500 companies use their annual report in their marketing and communications, so should you.
I’ve reviewed many B Corps and how they use (or not) theirs and developed the following recommendations to stimulate creative ways to use yours. These are meant to get you thinking out of the box. Use what’s appropriate for your organization and resource capabilities.
- Download B Lab’s branding guide – you’ll need this for logos and the like to incorporate into your impact report.
- Have a high-quality cover image sized for each of your social platforms and your website – Not sure what size to use for each of your channels? Tap into Hootsuite’s sizing guide. Or, if you use Canva, their easy sizing guide is helpful for multiple channels.
- Add it to your site’s navigation bar – so that it has a separate link for sharing and tracking. Even if this is your first impact report, I recommend creating a space for it right at the top. It projects the right image for your organization.
- Bitly that page’s link – I’m somewhat bitly-crazed because it’s a great free tool that makes it easy to track clicks and know if your links are getting traction. Even the free version allows for customization so it’s easy on the eyes.
- Consider doing a verbal walk through the report on video – I do this for some of the online courses I teach too. Some people prefer learning audibly and while you won’t want to read it verbatim, calling out the report’s highlights can be a great way to engage your audience who may not otherwise take the time to read it.
- Upload the video to your website – and, of course!, don’t forget to bitly the link.
- Add the video to your YouTube and other social media – bitly each of these separately.
- Create a blog post – it’s another way to add content to your site and to be able to explain the process, call out the biggest accomplishments of the year, etc.
- Do a press release – especially if it’s your first one, this can get you some much-needed attention from the press.
- Add a perma link to your newsletter – when the report is first published, make it a prominent story, and then after a month or so, move it down so that newcomers during the year are still able to access it.
- Hiring? Link it from job posts – this is a great way to ensure that the applicants you attract are a good fit for your organization’s culture.
Have other ideas? Go for it. The most important thing to remember is to use your Impact Report as a marketing tool in as many ways as you can.