When you think of the words “annual report,” you probably think of a lot of pages of small numbers that only an accountant could understand. But many annual reports are beautiful magazine-like corporate narratives. It’s a chance to tell a story beyond the numbers. That’s why – even though the SEC doesn’t require it – most companies start out with a nice cover and some pretty pages.
Marriott International’s 2012 annual report, “See the World,” is one of our best. It also includes a video and other online features. Deciding on the theme and cover image takes a lot of time and discussion. It has to be provoking, eye-catching, but somehow relate to the business. In past years, our annual report has featured people, places, hotels of different shapes and sizes, and last year – me.
This year’s cover is much improved over me. But it is not a simple image. With the help of PhotoShop, it’s a composite of architectural towers from around the world. The image projects the international mosaic of our business. Combined with the phrase, “See the World,” the cover’s message expresses where we are as a company – promoting global travel, making it easier to travel internationally, and showcasing our global brands.
So, take a look at our annual report. If you go online, you can construct your own international building. Now, when you hear the words “annual report,” don’t just roll your eyes. It’s much more than just numbers.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.
Below is a montage of our previous annual reports dating back to 1953. Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment. -- Bill