Every year Wal-Mart files an annual report to inform their share holders with the company’s most recent activities and financial position. The report’s intentions are to establish and maintain a relationship with its stock holders. In contrast, the 10k report files through Security Exchange Commission (SEC) for public companies to show their performance and operation statistics. The first intent is to provide detail statistics for serious investors and stock analysts. The second intent is to provide detail information of employment benefits for their employees.
The design/layout. The Wal-Mart’s annual report has a much simpler design and layout. Different segments such as the company’s CEO letter, highlights for the year, operation of business, financial reports, and corporate responsibility are created for easy access from an website. The 10k report is much more detail oriented, for example, there are 5 sub-segments under its operation section to explain various marketing strategies to approach the U. S. and international markets.
Verbal techniques The annual report uses a simple language, because it serves as a rapport builder. It is written in an optimistic tone to create a positive image of the company’s future.The company’s highlights and financial report sections show a net growth from the previous year; however this is only partial of their intent. Under the CEO’s letter, business operation, and corporate responsibility segment, they focus on communicate this slogan of “Save money, Live better. ” to their customers. Wal-Mart wants the audience to know that they are helping American families to save money while maintaining a stable growth.
On the opposite hand, the 10k report is written in professional tone and uses an official language, because it serves as an informative document for stock analysts and more serious investors.Their intent is to most accurately display company financial records with every detail. For example they focus most on numbers which are support it by tables and charts rather than sharing future vision of the company. Visual techniques The annual report is designed as an interactive document. It grabs the readers’ attention by displaying pictures of employees, distribution centers and customers in every segment of the report. The purpose is to start the first step of relationship building. Readers are able to relate the name “Wal-Mart” to the faces from the company.
Moreover, the annual report spreads its information wider apart than the 10k report and their fonts are much larger, because their goal is to keep shareholders’ interest to read on. On the contrary, the 10k report is designed as an informative document. Each segment in the general business section has charts and tables to support its claims of the company’s performance. There are almost no white spaces on the report and it is written in small font, because serious investors and stock analysts are more use to process documented information.
Effectiveness The annual report successfully targets its audience by using a personal tone of language.The vibrant pictures and large headings capture the readers’ attention to read on. They focus on stating the Wal-Mart’s goal as a company, save families’ money and allow them to live better. The 10k report is much more informative on Wal-Mart’s performance statistics. It successfully targets serious investor and stock analysts because it display all financial, marketing, performance related information in a direct way. There is no personal language or relationship building in the 10K report. These reports are not going to work for each other’s audiences.
For instance, serious investors and stock analysts are not going to invest in a company base on their personal feelings of the company. On the opposite hand, tables, charts, and numbers are not good for building a relationship with its stockholders. The audiences from the annual report are not as extreme when it comes to analyzing the performance numbers, therefore the over crowd it charts and tables are not going to work for them. Compare to the audience from 10k, they are looking for performance statistics to make decisions. Sharing the company’s belief with them is great, but is not going to work well.