Proper Brochure Design for the Enrollment Office
Probably the biggest pet peeve I have is a confusing brochure design. Yes, I have produced inadequate pieces in the distant past, but learned from my mistakes. Proper brochure design can come from many areas: other schools, a designer, past designs, etc. The key is to ensure the layout makes sense and produces the message you are interested in conveying.
Whether you have an in-house designer or contract this work to outside individuals, you need to drive the bus on the design and layout. Not good at this part? Then you need to get good at it or ask for help from a trusted colleague or professional. The Admissions office is the purveyor of the institutional message and that image might dictate whether a student comes to your institution or not.
Develop a Clear Message
If the student can’t figure out what you are trying to tell them, the time and effort has been wasted along with the money it took to attract that student. Identify what you want the student to do or learn and work backwards. Don’t assume the student will get the point.
Don’t Put Too Much in the Piece
You cannot say everything about your program in one brochure or marketing piece. It is impossible to cover it all unless you have a very small or specialized program, and even then it is near impossible. Try to say what you have to say in a three to four page brochure. If you said everything, that would be called a catalog and we all know how interesting the college catalog is!
Test the Design
Make sure you enlist the help of your current students or student workers to give you an honest assessment of the design. You are already paying student workers and they are the best target audience to assess your marketing. Don’t neglect this step and make sure they know you want an honest assessment of the piece. What does it say to them? Would they inquire for information based on this brochure or marketing piece? Does it cover the questions they might have? The key is to fix any ambiguities or problems before you go to press. Saves a lot of time and money.
Remember, your marketing pieces are just that – marketing. They are meant to move the student to take the next step. This could be an inquiry or an applicant. Either way, you want the student to follow logical steps guiding them to your institution as a matriculant. Use your website to convey the entire message, let the brochure do the directing.