Critics say corporate brochures are glossy, brag-and-boast budget suckers that virtually no one reads. How can evolve your corporate brochure beyond the traditional? Turn it into a conversation starter that people want to read?

1. Start with a strategy.
Every brochure should have a purpose. Who is your target audience? What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to introduce your company to a prospect? Establish credibility? Know what you want to accomplish and focus on it.

2. Be interesting.
Engage, engage, engage. If you don’t engage the reader right off the bat, your investment is going straight into the trash bin. On the cover, think beyond a picture of your product line and corporate logo. Grab attention with a bold graphic, a splash of unexpected color, or a customized font. Choose a unique size or shape of paper, a substantial paper stock, and a special finish.

3. Make the text interesting.
Does your brochure read like a technical manual? Make it read like bestseller instead. Lead with your best information. Let your story unfold in a natural, conversational way. You can’t tell your readers everything about your company all at once. Selectively use factual information to make your piece both interesting and believable.

4. Include a call to action.
While selling is not the primary purpose of a corporate brochure, why miss the opportunity? Give the reader an exclusive invitation, a free special report, or a perforated card to request more information. Prominently display your address, phone number, general e-mail address and Web site on the back cover to make contacting you easy. Continue the conversation by directing the reader to social media, like Twitter, Facebook or your corporate blog.

Companies tend to limit distribution of corporate brochures because of the cost involved, but a well-designed piece can be worth a great deal more than its cost. Create a great, professionally printed brochure and get it into the hands of your employees, vendors, distributors, customers and prospects and see where the power of effective communication takes you.

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