Promotional Products

Research centers and rural health organizations can use brochures, flyers, and other promotional pieces to inform diverse audiences of their missions and current activities. Promotional items inform the public about the organization and are not meant to highlight a specific project or topic.

General Rules

Regardless of the promotional product, adhere to the following:

  • Ask intended audience(s) what they need to know about the organization.
  • A one-page flyer has greater usability than a tri-fold brochure.
  • Never have more than one page.
  • Use high quality paper.
  • Make promotional pieces accessible in an electronic format to share online.
  • Include only relevant information. Provide links to more information if needed.

Recommendations for Format

  • Divide content into sections that flow. Keep the layout clean and simple.
  • When considering content, think of how often the information would need to be updated.
  • Include a call to action (for example, call today, sign up for alerts, visit the website today).
  • Insert testimonials when appropriate.
  • The contact information comes last (back page of brochure, bottom of a flyer).


  • Avoid using acronyms and jargon.
  • Write promotional materials at a grade eight reading level.

Graphic Design and Layout

  • Provide content, but leave design, layout, and format to professionals when possible.
  • Use visuals to help communicate the message, but ensure they have meaning.
  • Limit the number of fonts to no more than three.
  • Keep font sizes between 10 and 14.
  • Use only high quality images.
  • Use colors and images to attract and keep the attention of the audience.
  • Utilize page breaks, bullets, callouts, and other graphics to reduce the amount of narrative.
  • Design the promotional piece so the audience can grasp the main idea at first glance.
  • One large photo or graphic usually communicates better than many small ones.

Web or Electronic Version

Creating a web-based promotional piece is an eco-friendly alternative to paper. Web products are easily emailed to large audiences, linked in social media, and forwarded on to others. It is important to ensure the product is compatible with multiple email systems before sending. Consider uploading all printed materials online as well.