Things To Consider Before Diving Into A Marketing Communications Project
By Terry Bolda
Previous blog postings have explained the advantages of having professional and regular communications with your target audience, whether it is a letter, annual report, blog post, printed newsletter or email newsletter. As an executive director or CEO with little knowledge of the publishing or marketing communications world, what should you be thinking about when you are looking at expanding your marketing efforts with a regular newsletter to your customers and potential clients?
- A production schedule should be the first thing. Depending on how many pages the publication is, a designer needs a week to 10 days and a printer needs 7-10 working days to produce a 12-page annual report. Then you need to build in a schedule for writing content. The more department heads involved in reviewing and approving content, the longer it will take. This process alone could easily be a month or two.
- Find a good printer and designer. There are a lot to chose from, so build in time to meet with several designers and view their portfolios. There can be a pretty wide range of quotes from printers. It helps to get recommendations from other contacts to see who they’ve used. Some designers have printers they work with directly which will save you time but you’ll likely want another quote to compare.
- What is your content? What do you want to tell the reader that is not only informational, but motivational too? Ask others in your organization, customers and associates what would they want to know?
- Finally, who is going to put this together? Look for a writer or editor with a journalism background. Journalists know to write compelling copy that moves readers along a path. If you have an email or print newsletter, or annual report, it needs to be written for the audience and on a production schedule. A journalist not only loves to write, but is comfortable working under deadline pressure.
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Terry Bolda is a Partner with Oak Hill Business Partners specializing in copywriting, editing and marketing communications. He has more than 20 years of experience working with businesses and nonprofit organizations. His background includes being editor of a Wisconsin weekly newspaper, state correspondent reporter for the former Milwaukee Journal, and a public relations account executive for a large Milwaukee ad agency.