A: The thing you must remember about just about every corporate or organizational brochure is this:
People won’t read it.
I didn’t say it wasn’t important. I just said it wasn’t going to get read.
People will consider its heft. They might glance at the photos. They will certainly notice the layout. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll read a few captions or testimonials.
At its best, a brochure is begging for someone to judge you. It says, "assume that because we could hire really good printers and photographers and designers and writers, we are talented [surgeons, real estate developers, whatever]" And more often than not, people do just that.
At its worst, a brochure solves a prospect’s problem (the problem of: what should I do about this opportunity?) by giving them an easy way to say "no." "No," she thinks, "I don’t need to talk with you… I’ve reviewed the brochure."
So, the strategies of your brochure might be:
- overinvest in paper and design. Spend twice or even ten times more than you planned. If you can’t afford to do that, don’t have a brochure. Especially if your competition does.
- use less copy. Half as much.
- use testimonials. With photos. Short captions. It’s hard to have too many of the good ones.
- make it funny enough or interesting enough or, hey, remarkable enough that people will want to show it to their friends.
- show, don’t tell. Don’t say you have a tranquil setting… I won’t believe you.
- and most important, make sure you leave several obvious things out… so that people need to talk to you.
first in a possible series of Q&A. Send along a question… no promises, though!