© Sherrell Steele, 2013. All rights reserved.
22nd of May

Association Brochures…Make Them Memorable!

In this age of digital communications, are brochures still relevant to Associations and their members? Yes, brochures have a role to play in communication to members but only if brochures are properly constructed and produced.

Brochures, like other printed materials are self-contained units of information that provide a more permanent record of information than digital content (that can be fleeting). They also convey formality in a way that digital vehicles rarely do. But because they have a longer shelf-life and longer retention than digital communications, care must be taken to select content. Information can quickly become dated and it’s costly to reprint.


Now convinced of the value of brochures…how to make them memorable? The following tips and tricks will take your brochure from serviceable to memorable!

Define purpose

Association brochures may have many purposes: to recruit new members, to market a service, to promote an event. What is the main purpose of your brochure? Pick one!

Choose a key message (related to purpose)

What is the call to action for your members? What do you want your members to think, feel or do after reading this brochure? Repeat your call to action on each panel of your brochure…perhaps not verbatim. Be sure that the last panel of your brochure hammers home your call to action.


Develop a concept

Considering your call to action, what colors, font, and visuals will propel your members to take action (e.g. renew their membership, purchase a service, or attend an event)? How you organize the words, visuals and white space should convey your purpose, reinforce your key message and compliment your theme.


Flow the information

Make sure that content flows smoothly from panel to panel. Consider how the reader will pace through the brochure. Will she read panel one, then panel three, skipping panel two? Anticipate that your reader may read non-sequentially and make each panel a self-contained unit.


Execute the concept with creativity and flair

Once you have completed the manuscript for your brochure, it’s now time to consider print implications. The size and format of your brochure will vary according to your distribution plan. Are you mailing this brochure to your members? Make sure that it conforms to Canada Post dimensions and regulations. Are you planning to put your brochure in a display unit in the lobby or use it at a trade show? Consider display and packaging details.

Be mindful that (on occasion) your brochure will be viewed upside down, unfolded or out of place. Does the back of the brochure convey as much information as the front? Can a reader see “at a glance” that this brochure belongs to your family of publications?

Avoid common mistakes

The most frequent error with brochures is designing them for multiple audiences and purposes. More often than not such watered down efforts serve poorly. Another common error is cramming in too much information. Give the basics and drive members to your website for additional details.

Choose visuals with care to uniformity. Too often brochures feature “wallpaper” visuals, “patchwork visuals” and “grip and grin” visuals. Visuals from a variety of sources in a variety of formats contributes to an unprofessional look. While it is more expensive to conduct a photo shoot specifically for  a brochure, the results will impress.

Summing up

By defining one single purpose, crafting key messages, developing a concept, information flow and elegant execution, your association can create truly memorable brochures.



Sherrell Steele is a consultant in strategic communications and public relations with experience as manager of public relations with the province’s largest professional association. Looking for a communications audit? Communications consulting? Public relations advice? Publication analysis? Website review? Marketing advice? Media relations. Contact her at sherrell.steele@gmail.com Phone (780) 298-6149.

Categories:  Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Interested in working with me?

I'm always on the look-out for great new partnerships with exciting clients.

If you think we could make magical things happen,

just like my long standing partners, contact me at sherrell.steele@gmail.com or give me a call at (780) 298-6149.