How many times have you gone to an exhibition and picked up a load of leaflets and thrown them in the recycling bin after little more than a quick glance?

If you’re like us you will see many examples of promotional and exhibition literature that gets thrown in the bin.  And this is simply because there is no benefit to the reader to keep or act on what’s on that bit of paper.

Lady with Poster

Make your promotional material has a clear message!

So what can you do?

One thing you can easily do is to come up with a reason why the person you give this bit of paper to should keep it.

So ask yourself these questions (and they are all variations on the same theme); why would anybody keep this bit of paper? What would be my reason for hanging on to it? Is there some benefit to me, or beneficial action, that could come from keeping this bit of paper? Does this piece of paper contain useful information? In other words, what’s in it for me if I keep this brochure, flyer or handout?

So, the message on the literature that you’re handing out has to be any beneficial, compelling and clear. And here is where we part company (slightly) from the graphic design and print industry. Because, contrary to popular belief, the message on your literature is far more important than how it looks.

And let me explain: I have no doubt that you have seen, promotional material that looks absolutely fantastic but doesn’t give you a clear indication of what the organisation does where the info information comes from. In other words, there is no clear message on the brochure.

But here’s another question to ask yourself: if you were given a brochure that gave you useful information, or a beneficial call to action, or another reason why you should hang on to this bit of paper (and perhaps do something with it). How much more likely is it that you would keep it (or maybe even act on it)? Now we are not saying that good design isn’t important. What we are saying is that good design without a very clear and easily understood message is a waste of money, time and paper.

So, the key thing to think about is the message on your promotional material. The message has to come first and then the graphic design, colour scheme, and layout last. Spend 80% of your time on the message.

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