Distinctive Annual Reports. Creative Writing you should expect

green houseMANILA - Want a memorable annual report? The proof of the writing is in the putting. The proof of the shooting is in the shot. Frank H just received The Outstanding UPLB Alumnus Award 2011 for Creative Writing, right? Almost exactly 1 month ago today. The should next come up with The Outstanding UPLB Alumnus Award for Photography.

Back to Creative Writing. Like a duck to the water, 45 months ago, in February 2008, I took on a proper contract with the Office of the Chancellor of UP Los Baños; within a few days, I submitted a complete and unique outline for the UPLB Annual Report 2007. The outline was this:

(Title)
UP Los Baños 2007:
Celebrating UP Centennial,
Cerebrating Distinctive Excellence

(Introduction)
Keeping An Eye On The Vision, Teamworking For The Mission

(A) UPLB Contributing To The UP Centennial Celebration

(B) Strengthening The Pillars Of Distinctive Excellence
B1. Nurturing People
- faculty, REPS, administration staff, tenure
B2. Developing Resources
- income generation, structural improvement, systems & resources enhancement, repair & maintenance
B3. Enhancing The Academic Environment

- courses & classes, scholarship & thesis support, recruitment & admission, reviews & tutorials, student welfare

(C) Nurturing Minds & Cultivating Relationships
C1. Enriching Knowledge, Improving Skills
- publications, websites, basic research, non-degree training programs, Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, conferences/forums/symposia
C2. Fostering Entrepreneurship

- entrepreneurship & intellectual property rights
C3. Contributing To Nation Building

- management of natural resources, biofuels & forest products, Science & Technology Park, gender, culture & the arts
C4. Exploring & Enhancing Partnerships

- pursuing active linkages, technical assistance & training, alternative energy

(D) Looking Forward
D1. Reviewing Today
(no text given, dependent on the final agreed-upon manuscript)
D2. Looking To Tomorrow

grand reunions, structural & systemic growth, plans, proposals, The Future

From me, that's a lesson in Creative Writing after all - first, you create the outline of the annual report, then you write the report.

And how do you create that creative outline? First, you have to read thoroughly the individual unit reports to get a good idea of the substance; then you try to combine them into coherent wholes. That's easier said than done, considering that the University of the Philippines Los Baños comprises the following:

Schools & Colleges - Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Development Communication, Economics & Management, Engineering & Agro-Industrial Technology, Environmental Science & Management, Forestry & Natural Resources, Human Ecology, Veterinary Medicine, and Graduate School.

Offices - Chancellor, Alumni Relations, Institutional Linkages, Public Relations, Student Affairs, Vice-Chancellor for Administration, Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs, Vice-Chancellor for Instruction, Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development, and Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension.

Other Units - Business Affairs, Campus Planning & Development Office, Committee on Culture & the Arts, Continuing Education Center, Human Resource Development Office, Information Technology Center, Intellectual Property Rights Office, Internet & Network Administration, Land Grant Management Office, Makiling Management Office, Office of Alumni Relations, Office of Public Relations, Office of Student Affairs, Resource Generation & Development Office, Science & Technology Park, Southern Tagalog Agriculture & Resources Research & Development Consortium, Ugnayan ng Pahinungod/Oblation Corps, University Health Services, University Library, UPLB Housing Office, and University Publications Office.

So, if you have seen any University-wide annual and/or Chancellor term reports dated 2008 and later years that have similar sections, now you know where the impulse of creativity came from.

I'm sharing with you this information because I want to show you that:

(1) An annual report need not be a boring manuscript.
(2) A creative annual report adds substance to accomplishments.
(3) Such a report can point out strengths & opportunities.
(4) The report can point out weaknesses indirectly.
(5) This report can be packaged to drive a main message home.

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