### … and how do statistical institutions present what they do?

In times of fake news and austerity measures, statistical offices are feeling more and more the urge to orientate the public about themselves and the usefulness and necessity of trustworthy statistics.

### But how to proceed?

Public relations specialists know countless ways to get messages to the target groups. A traditional and usually quite boring way are annual reports. They’re usually just an obligatory thing and treated accordingly.

### Annual reports as ambassadors for public statistics

Is this still a quite boring lecture under the changing circumstances mentioned above? Let’s look at a few examples.

## #1 European Official Statistics

**The European Statistical Governance Advisory Board publishes the report, which focuses on fake news and trust issues. It’s mainly a control report with recommendations to be re-evaluated next year. **

**Not everyone’s reading but with some interesting facts about the European statistical infrastructure.**

**Glossary**

**European Statistics**

**Code of Practice (‘the Code’)**

**European Statistical Governance**

**Advisory Board (ESGAB, ‘the Board’)**

**European Statistical System (ESS)**

**Some interesting facts given in this report:**

## .

## #2 UK

**UK is of a similar type to the EU. Somewhat more systematic, with clear performance targets and evaluated indicators …. and tons of financial data.**

**helpful, professional, innovative, efficient and**capable statistical service will, we believe, serve the public good and help our nation make better decisions.’ (p.9)

**And some interesting facts:**

## #3 Sweden

**Sweden reports concisely on a few central goals and with the obligatory information on the organisation and infrastructure.**

‘Statistics Sweden plays a key role in public infrastructure. Its task is to develop, produce and disseminate official and other government statistics. The Official Statistics Act sets out a number of criteria concerning statistical quality, in which statistical relevance is a top priority.’ (Joakim Stymne, p. 4)

‘Punctuality in publishing remained high and amounted to 99 percent. No corrections that were considered serious were made to the published statistics during the year, and there were fewer internal error reports than in 2016.’ (p. 7)

‘During 2017, Statistics Sweden has studied how its customers and users view the agency and its products in different ways.’ (p. 10)

–

## #4 **Switzerland**

**Switzerland differs from other reports in two ways:
– The report shows not only the activities of the Office, but also the state of the country according to various topics (the milestones of the multi-annual statistical programme, and at the same time a small Statistical Yearbook).
– And it is very personal, responsible persons behind the statistics become visible.**

‘Die erste Halbzeit der Legislatur ist um und damit auch die ersten zwei Jahre des statistischen Mehrjahresprogramms 2016–2019. Die darin festgelegten Ziele und Schwerpunkte bilden die Leitlinien für die Arbeit der Bundesstatistik. Die für das Jahr 2017 geplanten Meilensteine konnten erfolgreich umgesetzt werden. … … der Auftrag der Bundesstatistik wie folgt zusammengefasst: «Im Zentrum des Auftrags der Bundesstatistik stehen die Erstellung und die Vermittlung von nutzergerechten Informationen zu wichtigen Lebensbereichen unserer Gesellschaft. Diese Informationen dienen unter anderem der Planung und Steuerung zentraler Politikbereiche, deren Stand und Entwicklung mit Hilfe der statistischen Informationen beobachtet und beurteilt werden können.” (Georges-Simon Ulrich, p.5)

**The state of statistics in the topic areas: e.g. Population**

**And the targets for the future: focal points and priority developments in the coming year:**

**Some interesting facts about structure and publishing**

## .

## # 5 Germany

**Germany is taking a quite different approach: the annual report is more like a scientific magazine. With interviews and contributions to focal topics.**

**The table of contents shows how this report is designed as a magazine**

**Some interesting information about the office**

## .

## # Conclusion

**Annual reports are certainly not the most effective way of informing the public about the activities and importance of statistical institutions. They must be approached with other measures; they must be embedded in PR measures. Then they can – especially if they are well made – contribute a lot to understanding official statistics.**