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Your Brand's Look Needs "Spring Cleaning"

Clean your organization's print materialsRaise your hand if you associate "spring cleaning" with clearing your closet of old clothes or vacuuming under the couch cushions.

I see your hand, thank you.  You may put your hand down now.

Now, raise your hand if -- when you think of "spring cleaning" -- you picture setting aside time to clean out your organization's print materials.  I'm talking about every brochure, flyer, newsletter and even envelopes that have your pre-printed return address. 

Not too many hands.  Just what I suspected.

I imagine that some of you -- at the very mention of those printed pieces -- sighed a heavy sigh and sank a little lower in your chair.  Going through print materials can be just as daunting as deciding whether or not to let go of that one shirt in your closet you haven't worn since well-before you first heard of Justin Bieber.  Better yet, before Justin Bieber was born.

Well, I'm here to help jump start the process for sifting through those print materials.  And just like the home organization experts have their tips for a successful spring cleaning day -- I have mine, too.

Spring Cleaning:  Your Organization's Print Materials

How do the home organization experts suggest cleaning a hallway closet, food pantry or bathroom cabinet?  Take everything out and sort into three piles:  trash, give away (repurpose), keep.  Do the same with your print materials!  Gather every poster, flyer, handbook, brochure and newsletter.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Ok, do you have every piece of paper with your logo on it?  Good.  Start sorting into three piles:

Pile 1 - Trash:  That brochure not only predates your website, but before websites existed.  If it has outdated information -- trash it!

Pile 2 - Repurpose:  Find yourself unsure if you should let something go?  It's probably because there's something useful about it.  What is it?  Does it well-present your mission statement and offer a history of your organization? Or is it your "go-to" piece for sharing upcoming events or news?  Find what it does well and conider a) creating a new piece that eliminates the clutter or b) incorporate that message into another piece (or your website, etc.).  Think through what's not working about it, regroup and -- if needed -- redo!

Pile 3 - Keep:  These are the pieces that are serving your brand well. They have all the current information and messaging about your brand.  Not only do you use them often, they have proven to be an effective communication tool.  Before you put them back in their proper place, consider when they need a redesign -- and put that date on your calendar!

Do you have any "Spring Cleaning" tips -- for print materials or otherwise?  Let us know!  Leave your comment below.

Katie Burke
Ambassador Advertising Agency: We Connect. Ministry and Media.


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