Too many ‘alsos’ turn annual reports into shopping lists

Annual report writing – a yearly headache or company calling card?

A hashtag #Also wouldn’t have quite the same ring as #MeToo, but the word ‘also’ is certainly trending at this time of year when annual report projects are in full swing.

We at Stampa write and edit many annual reports for corporate clients, and the word ‘also’ has a habit of getting hugely over-used in texts. Sometimes it seems as if someone in the process – be they writer, editor or approver – sullies nearly every sentence or paragraph with the A-word.

Why is this? I suspect it might be because many annual report sections are really glorified lists of things a company has done over a year. And sometimes those developments are so disparate that their only apparent connection is that they all ‘also’ happened in the same year.

The trouble is, when you overdo the ‘also’, you end up with a text that reads like a dull, directionless run-down, rather than a coherent strategic story.

So, what’s the remedy?

First the quick-win practical tip: do a Ctrl+F to find every ‘also’ in your text and then try deleting as many as you can. You’ll find most can be scrapped – they’re usually implicit and therefore redundant.

Secondly (and this one takes more effort) – think longer and more creatively about how to group or link disparate items thematically, so your text becomes a compelling story rather than a shopping list.

More annual report writing insights?

Read our previous post Unleash your inner Orwell or have a look at our training offering.

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