Of late, we've been spending a lot of time talking about writing and design for the web. After all, these days, the web is the place for promoting yourself, whether you're a business, not-for-profit or individual. The web is now.
But, as we' ve said before, traditional print is still in the game. And as more and more not-for-profit groups refocus their efforts on online marketing, it makes sense to work on some of the skills they may be neglecting — print skills, for example.
With that in mind, we've decided to do a little post on something you might not have thought about lately: the traditional print brochure.
Remember print brochures? Sometimes called pamphlets or fliers, these are the little folded guys you still find stacked along the walls of your doctor's office, or at city welcome centres and hotels. They're not as common as they used to be, but they're still both useful and effective. So while everyone else is focussing on the web, here are a few easy ways to help your not-for-profit stand out with some good, solid brochure copy.
5 tips for writing effective brochure copy
- Keep it simple (the language, that is). Don't use jargon, buzz words or cliches, and don't try to sound intellectual. Simple, easy-to-understand language is best.
- Keep it short. This is a brochure, not a novel. While reading is part of the process, anyone who picks up your brochure should also be able to get the general gist at a glance.
- Keep it positive. Even the darkest topics can be covered in a positive way. Consider the best heath-care pamphlets you've seen lately. For example, cancer care brochures never focus on death. Instead, they focus on life — living with illness, making the most of what you've got, staying positive, etc. It's possible to treat things seriously and with respect (as many not-for-profits need to do) while still engendering the sort of positivity that will encourage readers to stick with you.
- Write in the present tense. Active verbs, everyone! Use those active verbs.
- Present your ideas in a linear, logical fashion. The front page is the introduction. The end or back page is the call to action, the registration form, and closing rremarks. The information should flow in a way that makes sense.
There you have it! Five easy tips to help your brochure copy sparkle. Now get writing.