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Communications Toolkit

Step-by-Step Guide


Step 3: Create your communication pieces

Once you've determined how you'll get your message out, there are some recommended components, tips, and considerations for each method. Click here for a printable version of this table.

MethodCommon ElementsConsiderations
Ad / Poster / Banner
  • A clear, simple idea/message/call to action
  • A strong, simple key visual
  • Headline
  • Subhead
  • Brief copy
  • Contact information and/or URL for more information
  • What's the publication deadline?
  • What's the cost to run this ad (once or more)
  • What are the ad specifications?
Brochure / Catalog
  • Clean cover with inviting visual and headline
  • Subheads
  • Copy blocks, often with bullet points
  • Contact information and/or URL for more information
  • Catalog will have page numbers and table of contents
  • How and where will these be distributed?
  • How many should I print (for now and for re-stocking?)
  • What's the printer deadline?
  • What are the print specifications?
  • Where will I store them?
Postcard / Mailer / e-Mailer / Flyer
  • Clean cover with inviting visual and/or headline clearly conveying what's inside
  • Subheads
  • Copy blocks often with bullet points
  • Contact information and/or URL for more information
  • What's the best mailer size given my purpose and budget?
  • How and when will this be distributed?
  • Do I need to follow U.S. postal service requirements?
  • Is there a bulk mail permit required?
  • What's the mailing deadline?
  • Do I have help available to stamp and/or sort the mailing if needed?
Merchandising / Premiums / Giveaways / Promotional Collateral
  • Typically an item that is of some perceived value, usefulness, and/or nostalgia to your target audience to create word-of-mouth and/or visual awareness
  • Simple, eye-catching visual
  • Minimal copy (e.g. name of University/team/event/URL as applicable)
  • Does the nature of this item(s) reflect BSU Standards?
  • What is the cost per item to giveaway/sell?
  • Is my vendor(s) licensed by BSU and equipped to meet quantity, quality, and timing requirements? (helpful to review samples)
  • Where will the inventory be stored?
  • Will I need a container, hangtag, and/or other packaging to distribute?
  • How, when, and where will this be distributed?
  • What are the University/legal requirements (if any) for selling?
  • What is the plan for storing/distributing any excess inventory?
PowerPoint
  • Clean, clear title screen
  • A format (length, background style and tone) that fits the audience
  • One key message per slide
  • Bulleted text when possible
  • Incorporates multimedia when possible (e.g. graphics, video, links, etc.)
  • How/when/where/how often will this be presented? What equipment will I need?
  • Will this PowerPoint still be clear and informative if someone hasn't seen the live presentation?
  • Will I need printable copies or electronic "leave behind" copies or versions?
  • What are the file size requirements for electronic distribution?
Online
  • Simple, brief copy
  • Headlines
  • Subheads
  • Brief copy (bulleted when possible)
  • Include links to related material when possible
  • Simple navigation structure (e.g. fewer, broader sections)
  • "Contact Us" link and information
  • Sitemap
  • Has the web development team been contacted about my desire for a web page or web pages?
  • How will my audience know where and when to find this site? (e.g. will it be part of a larger site or will you need to promote the site via print or online methods to create awareness?)
  • Start your project by creating a sitemap or outline
  • What is the developer's timeline?
  • What are the developer's specifications for submitting content?
  • How often should/can the site be updated? (And at what cost?)
Campaign
  • Multiple and/or repeated use of individual communication tools (see any/all above)
  • A clear, overarching message or slogan
  • Continuity of visuals and copy throughout campaign
  • Depth of message content tailored to each tool used
  • What is the most effective timeframe for this campaign? (Plan the sequence of your communication pieces to rollout during this timeframe)
  • What are the best communication tools to use in this campaign?