Top Tips for Writing Your Annual Report

WHY IS THE ANNUAL REPORT IMPORTANT?

Every AEJMC division and interest group is assessed every five years. These assessments are based on annual reports over those five years, as well as previous assessment reports. The purpose of assessment? To help insure the division/interest group is serving its membership as well as the mission of AEJMC. Most importantly, it is to help the officers of the division/interest group maintain quality and sustainability.

The Assessment Committee looks to see progress over the course of five years to see how well each group has met its own goals in that time. The annual report is the place to review how well the group has faired, how well the goals have been met, summarize its successes and weaknesses, and report the vision for the future.

WHAT SHOULD BE IN YOUR ANNUAL REPORT?

There is annual report information and the template for the report on the AEJMC website. Follow that closely. In addition, you will have the previous years’ annual reports. It is important that the reports be consistent, but NOT copied. Each year should see progress and reflection. Don’t just cut and paste from the previous year or cut and paste your program copy. Use this opportunity to define your group, its goals, its membership, and its progress. Think of this as a historical document as well. This annual report will be representative of your group for years to come. Spend some time showcasing the work your group has accomplished over the past year.

TIPS FOR A GREAT REPORT!

  1. Your annual report is due by June 15 of each year
    a. With this in mind, request information from your respective chairs (teaching, research & PF&R) early so you have more time to track down missing information and so that you can reflect on your objectives
  2. Read the annual report from earlier years
    a. Assess the goals, assess how well your group met those goals, determine what is realistic for the next year (of course this means that you should set goals at the beginning of the year!!!!!)
  3. You will need to cover all aspects of the three pillars of AEJMC – teaching, research and public freedom & responsibility. Be familiar with programming from previous years so you know what areas of teaching, research and PF&R are not being addressed in programming. Be sure you touch on all three. However, no one expects you to be superior in all three all the time. But you will need balance among the three areas over five years. If you choose to focus on one or two one year and not the other, explain why.
  4. At the convention, attend all of your sessions so you can take note of the demographic information of speakers, moderators, discussants, etc.
  5. Your report should go beyond what we can get from looking at the program.
    a. What new things did your division involve itself in? How was that helpful?
    b. What can division members learn from your activities?
    c. This should be a dialogue that includes reflection on the part of your leadership.
    d. How are you striving for leadership consistency?
  6. Demonstrate in the annual report how you involve and interact with your membership.
    a. Online, via the newsletter, via pre-conference activities, via mid-winter activities
    b. Discuss the diversity of your membership.
    c. How do you involve graduate students and their research?
  7. The report on research should go beyond acceptance rates and the demographics of authors and judges.
    a. What are you actively doing to improve research in your division?
    b. What steps are you taking to solicit work from people in other divisions?
    c. How well does your call for papers reflect what you really want to see in research?
    d. How well does your call for papers define “student” papers?
  8. Assess what you feel your division’s trends and patterns are over the years.
    a. What do you do well at consistently?
    b. In what areas are you lacking?
    c. If you don’t want to be stuck in a rut, what can you do differently?
  9. Do not leave blanks on any section of the annual report.
  10. Do not put N/A on any section of the annual report.
  11. Recognize the annual report is due at the worst time of the year, so start culling data at the convention (yes, almost a year in advance) to help you later.
  12. Save copies of newsletters, mailers, fliers, recruitment material, announcements, etc. Document everything your group has done and include it in your annual report.

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