Things to consider when planning an advertising campaign using printed media.

  1. Newspapers

    • Very quick to get your advert published, but very short shelf life
    • Run the advert more than once if your budget allows. Some people may not respond the first time they see your advert rather get in touch on the 2nd or 3rd sighting
  1. Magazine
    • Longer shelf life than newspapers as people are generally not averse to reading an out of date magazine
    • People also spend longer reading a magazine than a newspaper so have a better chance of seeing your advert
  1. Imagery
    • Photos tend to be more effective than drawings
    • Colour photography is more effective than black and white
    • High quality images have more impact
    • Storytelling; try to make sure your photos have meaning and support your message
    • Always support your photos with carefully chosen text
    • Image resolution should be 300dpi (dots per inch)
  1. Copywriting 
    • Use headlines to grab readers attention
    • Opening sentence needs to be interesting
    • Think short; words / sentences / paragraphs – people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter
    • Focus on positive messaging
    • Always use a spell checker  and proof read
  1. Testing
    • Test your messaging with people who are part of your target audience
    • Ask for suggestions on how messaging could be improved and adapt accordingly
  1. Formatting
    • Use different fonts sparingly; stick to your brand
    • Use capitalised text sparingly, for headings and emphasis only
    • Use bold for emphasis, not for everything as it’s harder to read than normal text
  1. Check advert with the print company before going to print
    • File specifications
    • Specific colour profiles
    • Acceptable file types

The above has been collated from research and expertise in the adoption field. It is not an exhaustive list and we welcome a continued dialogue with our partners up and down the country so that we may evolve and share new ideas together. If you have any comments you’d like to add about this guide then please email them to