5 tips for writing the perfect report
A report can be long or short, formal or informal; but either way it will need to be adapted for your audience. The perfect report should be clear and concise; this will help guide your future proposed actions as you incorporate lessons learned from your work and activities.
Reporting can be made simple if you think and plan ahead. Check out the following 5 tricks for writing the perfect report!
1. Define your goals and KPIs
Before you even start thinking about which reporting tool you’re going to use, or what you’re going to write, know your goals and KPIs. If you don’t know these, then you should! What do you want to get out of the on-going work that you’re doing for your client? Leads, conversions, web traffic, engagement? That’s up to you to decide.
Make sure that you’re sticking to your KPIs and highlight them. Simply do this by emphasising them in bold within Flaunt – easy as that!
Don’t ramble on about things that are going to clutter your report or make it longer than it needs to be. Stick to those KPIs and shout about your wins! Make sure you stay laser-focused on the things that matter most to you and your client.
2. Know your audience
It’s important to tailor your report and this depends on who will be reading it. Tailor it to the interests of whoever will be reading it – cover all ground. Stay focused on what’s important for each reader.
The report might even be for your own team members, to showcase your team wins – so this might be a little less formal!
Then, you can get into the nitty-gritty details; what worked well and what didn’t work well. If something didn’t go well, add a few lines to explain how you will tweak your approach for the next month. If something did go well, explain how you’re going to replicate that success going forward. This information will be important no matter who is reading your report.
3. Reduce the jargon
There’s a lot of jargon out there, so don’t confuse your client. Make your report easy to read, which starts by reducing complicated terminology. You’re not writing a report for a dummy, you’re thinking of how to have a clear and concise understanding with your client. This is possible without using jargon or patronising!
There’s usually some terminology you can’t avoid, so perhaps add a terminology glossary at the bottom of your report. That way, if there’s something your client doesn’t understand, they can find out easily.
4. Shout about your wins!
Don’t be afraid to express your wins - that's what reporting is about. Make those wins stand out in your report so the readers' eyes will insistently be drawn in.
Of course, it’s important to highlight the areas that need work. Showing that you are aware of what the next steps are and being able to analyse the results will give your client or management security – they want to know you're owning your work!
5. Presenting your report
Try and look at the report you have created with fresh eyes; would you want to read it? If the answer is no, then your client won’t either! Make sure you demonstrate your results with graphs, images and all the best statistics. Remember to add short descriptions to describe what you’re illustrating, including the key highlights and takeaways.
It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention Flaunt Report. Our software allows you to screenshot key details with Flaunt’s Chrome extension, allowing you to shout about your wins and prioritise them with our unique Awesomeness Meter! Then there’s the ability to customise the layout for each client effortlessly. It also has features like:
- Customisable hex colours, logo and banner picture.
- Inclusion of links to posts.
- Beautiful, automatic formatting to save hassle for you.
- A Chrome extension to enable easy screenshot capture