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Market Insight: The Annual Report Cycle  
65% of Annual Reports Have a December Fiscal

The Annual Report is the focus of many who provide creative and print production services to Corporate America to meet SEC filing deadlines.  Timing, therefore, is critical in the sales cycle if providers are to be in the ‘hunt’ for these major projects.  65% of all major annual reports have a December fiscal hence creating intense pressure on firms seeking to ‘present and secure’ these prized assignments.  The remaining 35% are spread throughout the year creating opportunities that many providers overlook. 

Annual Reports also impact the ‘workflow’ of other collateral projects.  Marketing Communication firms as well as corporate communicators need to factor the possibility that during ‘Annual Report Crunch Time’ –particularly in March- press time and paper availability can be restricted.

Fiscal Percentages
January 5.61 August 2.00
March 3.58 September 5.74
April 2.00 October 2.07
May 2.59 November 1.71
June 7.19 December 65.49
July 1.84
The Contract Cycle for Creative and Print Production Providers
Timing is critical if providers are to be considered for the Corporate Annual Report.  Although many would argue the cycle repeats the moment the annual report is released, a seven-month cycle is generally acknowledged.  The following is based upon a December but can be applied to any fiscal year.  If the Annual Report is one of your target projects, you need to plan and promote accordingly.
7 Months Prior: Design Firm Selection
Design/Marketing Communication firms are aggressively presenting their strategy and creative to prospective clients as early as May.  This is a 3-month window with most Corporations signing ‘engagement contracts’ by the end of August. 
4 Months Prior: Commercial Talent Selection
Design/Marketing Communication firms now turn their focus on timelines and support services.  Reviewing, negotiating and securing Commercial Photographers and Illustrators is a key part of this window.  This is a two-month window with most assignments awarded by October.  It is also common that initial press time is reserved during this period even though final print bids are not yet approved.
2 Months Prior: Final Print Bids
Once the annual report is in full content and layout production, final Print Bids and Paper Dummies are requested.  At then end of this period, the entire project is in full swing with most costs determined and support providers selected.


Market Insight Archive:
Market Insight: Corporate America


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