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How to Create a Great Practice Brochure

Wendy S. Myers
Communication Solutions
1905 E. Mountain Sage Drive
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
(720) 344-2347 office
(509) 277-4088 fax
wmyers@mycommunicationsolutions.com
www.mycommunicationsolutions.com

Seminar Overview

Get advice on how to publish a practice brochure or hospital folder that informs new and existing clients. Discover ways to market your professional and ancillary services and get tips on content, graphic design and budget.

What you’ll learn

•  How a brochure can market your professional and ancillary services

•  What information to include in your brochure

•  Tips on graphic design, photography and printing

Why you need an effective brochure

•  Convert phone shoppers to clients

•  Inform new clients of your comprehensive services

•  Distribute during open house and tours

•  Give to current clients who will refer others

•  Recruitment tool for associate veterinarians and staff members

Getting started

1.  What is the purpose of your brochure?

2.  What unique offerings do you provide?

3.  What image and tone do you want to communicate?

4.  How many brochures will you use annually?

Note: A brochure should have a shelf life of 1-2 years.

Creating your plan

•  Allow at least 2-3 months to coordinate writing, design, photography and printing

•  Don’t rush—get it right the first time

•  Create a detailed production schedule

•  Hire professionals—writers, designers, photographers

•  Solicit 2-3 bids; don’t always choose the lowest bid

Planning the content of your brochure

•  Choose the cover image carefully. You want to communicate a warm, compassionate image. Don’t use a photo of your building on the cover.

•  Use photos of people, pets and your team in action

•  List services, hours, emergencies

•  Include a small map

•  Share your mission statement and philosophy of care

•  Feature state-of-the-art equipment such as a laser surgical unit, ultrasound unit or dental radiograph unit

Writing your brochure

•  Use strong action verbs

•  Use descriptive phrases

•  Use "you" to talk to the reader

Photographing your practice and team

•  Hire a professional photographer

•  Include people and pets in every picture (Don’t forget model release forms.)

•  Use close-ups to show action and emotion

•  Consider digital photography to make design easier

•  Secure all rights to the use of your photos (brochure, web, advertisements, etc.)

Designing your brochure

•  Hire a graphic artist

•  Use your practice colors and logo

•  Avoid using more than 3 fonts

•  Consider printing and design costs of 4-color (full color) vs. 2-color

•  Ask for an electronic copy of your final brochure for your archives

Printing your brochure

•  Get 2-3 bids

•  Allow for 10 business days for printing

•  Ask for paper samples (printed and non-printed)

•  Check references

A flexible alternative

•  Consider a hospital folder as an alternative that never expires

•  Use stacking sheets that you can easily update

•  Custom printed folders vs. do-it-yourself folders

•  Choose a folder with a business-card slot

•  Consider the multiple uses of a folder: new clients, puppy and kitten kits, weight-management programs, senior care, etc.

Maximizing the use of your brochure

•  Send a brochure to every phone shopper

•  Include in new client welcome kits

•  Display on your reception counter

•  Give guests a brochure after a tour

•  Send to prospective employees and associate veterinarians

•  Add to puppy and kitten kits

•  Use images and copy from your brochure on your hospital web site

Final words of advice

•  Remember that a brochure has a maximum shelf life of 2 years

•  Proofread carefully—always have a second set of eyes review your brochure BEFORE it goes to the printer

•  Create a budget BEFORE you get started. Printing costs may surprise you!

•  Don’t shortchange your practice’s image—hire professionals to help you create a high-quality yet affordable brochure

Wendy S. Myers is the former editor of Veterinary Economics. She owns Communication Solutions, a Denver-based consulting firm that helps practice owners and managers improve client service, marketing, newsletters, web sites and communication tools. She lectures at veterinary conferences nationwide on customer service, marketing and practice management. You can reach her at 720/344-2347 or wmyers@mycommunicationsolutions.com.


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