How to Create a Great Practice Brochure
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
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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