Print and Electronic Communications: An Integrated Approach
Your communications plan should take an integrated approach and include print and electronic communications if possible. Developing print and electronic materials that reinforce and leverage each other is a wise strategy. Before you start a print project, think about how your piece may complement electronic communications, such as websites and enewsletters, that you already have or plan to develop.
Examples: How Print and Web Materials Reinforce Each Other
- Your print and electronic pieces should visually complement each other. Use the same fonts, colors, etc., to create a professional, cohesive look.
- Short, memorable URLs will look inviting and professional in your printed publication or advertisement. URLs that run on and have many characters are annoying and easily forgotten. Talk to your system administrator about establishing short URLs for webpages that are promoted in your printed pieces.
- Unique URLs can help you track traffic to your website. Talk to your system administrator about creating unique URLs.
- Print pieces and advertisements can now include a Quick Response (QR) code—a two dimensional barcode readable by QR scanners found on smartphones—that will immediately take users from looking at your print piece to accessing your website on their electronic device.
- Well-designed business cards can be scanned by smartphones and other devices equipped with optical character recognition (OCR) technology, so you and your colleagues can easily load contact information into electronic devices.
- Print and advertising can drive users to your website: you can send an attractive direct mail piece or run an ad to let audiences know your website is out there.
- Your website can be used for material that changes often, so your print materials and advertising can be more generic and have a longer shelf life; this means you can print larger quantities at a lower cost per piece and run your ad for a longer period of time.
- Strategically distributed print can catch the attention of audiences you seek for specific events: a poster in a high school to attract students to an open house, a flyer mailed to peer faculty at other institutions to announce a conference, or an ad in local and regional newspapers promoting your film festival. Your print materials and advertisements can direct people to websites or social media sites with more information about your event.
- Well-designed, one page, 8.5” X 11” flyers or ads that you plan to distribute can easily be made into PDFs to post on your website or email to audiences as an enewsletter.