By Marisa Ruffles. Building your company’s proxy statement (Form DEF 14A) is a laborious task that involves countless hours of gathering required information in order to build a complete picture of your company for the public. Valid and correct data points are the most important elements of a proxy statement as shareholders will use the information to make critical decisions. But have you ever considered the experience that shareholders will have while consuming that information? The proxy tells the story of your company – and it doesn’t have to be boring. While many larger corporations like Coca-Cola have also integrated an interactive proxy into the experience, the PDF version of the document isn’t going anywhere. Here are 7 ways to make your proxy more exciting.
- Use Images – Don’t be afraid to show some personality, especially on the title page of your proxy report. Aligning your brand with an appropriate image can make the report more interesting and remind shareholders of what is important to your brand.
- Be Brand Consistent – Talk to your marketing department, and make sure you are using the most recent version of your logo. Also, the marketing team will likely have a document outlining brand standards including guidelines on how and when to use which version of your logo, appropriate typeface, exact colors of your brand, and other advice.
- Add Color – Use different visual elements for the subtitles and numbered elements. Use a brand accent color for the titles and subsection headings; Also, don’t be afraid to add a little flair to page numbers:
- White Space is Your Friend – Be aware of the layout and spacing of your document. Use white space to help combat the density of the document, highlight key information, and draw a reader’s attention to the right spots.
- Biography Photographs – Instead of just simply listing your leadership team and board of directors by name, add a human element by showing the shareholders who runs the company they have invested in by adding their biography pictures.
- Change Your Charts – Add a little color to your charts and graphs. This will not only make the information more visually appealing, but having a color coded key will make the information easier to read.
- Table banding – Always use color banding in your informational tables to make it easier for shareholders to follow. This technique minimizes confusion and maximizes readability. VS.
Using visual elements in your proxy statement will help to convey to the shareholders, and the public, your company’s story. Storytelling is not black and white – and your proxy shouldn’t be either! Written documents are meant to be read, and by using these 7 tips, you can make your proxy more enjoyable. What do you do to make your proxy pop?