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Heard on the Beat

Encino CD-ROM Firm Creates Annual Reports

November 09, 1998|KAREN KAPLAN

There may not be many ways to jazz up a corporation's annual report, but an Encino start-up thinks it has found one method: Put it on a CD-ROM.

Reading columns of numbers on a computer screen isn't necessarily an improvement over reading columns of numbers on paper. So Digital Corporate Profiles augments the annual report with video clips, graphics and music to tell a company's story.

"We are storytellers, and the annual report is only part of the story," said Peter Dunn, chief executive of the 2-year-old firm.

The CD-ROMs and their accompanying booklets are cheaper to produce and mail than traditional annual reports, Dunn said. A typical disc includes videotaped messages from a company's key officers, plus footage of how the company makes its products. TV news footage, commercials and product catalogs can be included as well. The discs also have a link to a Web site with updated news and financial information.

Digital Corporate Profiles has signed up eight customers since it started marketing its services in June. Los Angeles-based Hartcourt, an electronics manufacturing and distribution firm, ordered a few thousand CD-ROMs to send to investors, analysts and brokers.

"They're much more appreciative of popping in the CD-ROM," said Hartcourt Vice President Frederic Cohn.

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