If you think South Florida has gone 100 percent digital, think again. With the dozens of business and professional meetings, conventions and conferences that take place in the region every month, you still need brochures, newsletters and business cards to hand out to client prospects.
Just think, business owners and executives receive 100-200 emails a day. So, what’s the first thing they want to do? Delete most of them, of course. But when they take the time and effort to request information from you, they’re likely to keep your printed materials on their desks by their phones.
Today, your U.S. Post Office mailbox has a lot less competition for attention. So, alternating between e-newsletters and traditional media makes a lot of sense. The same holds true with direct mail and eblasts — formal and electronic invitations and announcements.
Look at the impression you have when you receive an invitation to a South Florida event in an elegant linen envelope. It screams, “This is important. Open, read and respond.”
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Think of your marketing materials as living assets. They must be easy to find and kept up to date. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but there are ways to stay current without having to toss out hundreds of brochures or spend hours updating a website or Facebook page.
Here are some examples of updates that justify making changes:
▪ A Fort Lauderdale business gains a famous customer whose name should be prominently displayed on a brochure and website.
▪ A Miami attorney becomes board certified, necessitating an update to the bio in the law firm’s brochures and website.
▪ A Palm Beach company names a top executive or a law firm adds a partner.
▪ A Coral Gables business or one of its employees wins a prestigious award.
Here are some easy ways to stay current:
▪ Keep brochures and important content in electronic files that are easy to edit. It’s much simpler to change copy in a Word file than in Illustrator. For eblasts, have an editable HTML file, not an image.
▪ Invest in a high-end, full-color, two-pocket folder and keep a ream of rich shell paper for instant printing at the office. Now you’ll always have up-to-date, customizable presentations.
▪ If you have several employees, print shell business cards in economic quantities. When somebody joins or is promoted, just have their info printed to these shells in quantities of 250 or more. This way, all of your cards will have a consistent look.
▪ Store those electronic files on your network in an easily identifiable folder. And label them clearly by name and date. You’ll waste time and money hunting for the latest versions.
▪ Secure the rights to the original art files used to produce a brochure, flier, email blast or newsletter. You paid for the work, so you should own it. That means collecting the photos in JPG or PNG format, text in Word files, illustrations in EPS or AI format, and finished projects as Illustrator or EPS files. Store all the materials in a folder that’s clearly marked, with subfolders for the artwork. Your marketing department or agency will thank you.
▪ Don’t wait until the last minute to review your materials. Let’s say you have a trade show or conference at a Miami Beach hotel coming up in a month. Read your materials and your website now, not two days beforehand. That will give you and your printer time to produce fresh brochures and fliers that are free of errors and ready for that big event at the convention center.
Without question, communicating a consistent brand, look and messaging and utilizing different delivery channels will help you stay on the radar of those who already know you and of those whose attention you want to grab.
Don Silver is COO of Fort Lauderdale-based Boardroom Communications, Inc.