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MarCom Checklist--Publication Development
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MarCom Checklist--Publication Development



I often use checklists in project managment, and have found that using an information tool such as this facilitates planning discusisons with clients.

I often use checklists in project managment, and have found that using an information tool such as this facilitates planning discusisons with clients.



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    MarCom Checklist--Publication Development MarCom Checklist--Publication Development Document Transcript

    • Marketing and Communications Publication Development Checklist Planning & Process 1. Define your target audience(s). How big is your market? Are there identifiable audience segments in your market? What are the demographics of your audience(s)? Can your audience(s) be segmented based on common characteristics? What would a “best prospect” or “best customer” look like? What would this individual’s attributes be? 2. Define the publication’s objectives. Why is this effort being undertaken at this time? Why is this publication being developed? Why will it be important to achieving your business goals? 3. Plan ahead and select the desired target date for your publication launch. Keep in mind that the standard turnaround time for most projects is a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks. The time estimates below reflect the norm for an average project within MarCom. Complicated design, extensive text, and more elaborate production processes can modify the delivery date by weeks or even months. These average time estimates permit proper planning and scheduling of the necessary photography, research, design, proofreading, and production stages for an average project. The production timeline normally begins on the date of the initial meeting with MarCom staff and ends with final delivery of a printed piece. Average Time Estimates: • Brochure/booklet: 6-8 weeks • Invitation/program: 8-10 weeks, depending on event and mailing schedules • Bulletin/viewbook: new design, 8-12 months; reprints, 10-12 weeks • Poster: 6-8 weeks Be sure to let the MarCom staff know if you anticipate that an event will involve multiple communications items (such as save-the-date cards, invitations, brochures, or posters), so that adequate planning, development, and production time can be allotted for each item. Finally, the MarCom staff will do their best to accommodate rush jobs. However, be aware that we may not be able to accept rush jobs when doing so will compromise the schedule of ongoing time-sensitive projects. If it is necessary for MarCom to outsource work to complete a rush job, any development or production charges incurred may be passed on to clients. 4. Be aware of the typical stages necessitated in a publication project. The usual phases involved in an average project include planning, concepting, writing/editing, design, proofing, printing, and mailing. Each stage is more fully defined below. Planning: During the planning stage, the MarCom staff will evaluate your project and provide consultation services for you as necessary. There are some basic questions that we will ask you so that we have a clear sense of your project; see the “Common Planning Questions” below. marcomchecklistpublicationdevelopment1-100426154457-phpapp02.doc Page 1 of 4 J.L. McGreevy
    • A general project timeline and related milestones will be developed once we have a good idea as to the chief project deliverables and inputs. Depending on the project’s complexity and the phases involved, many publications will take eight weeks or longer to produce. Naturally, the project schedule will need to consider the department workload. The due dates for other departmental or client projects will have an impact on new projects undertaken by the MarCom staff. To maintain your project’s schedule, it is vital that you submit requested content, text, graphics, or photos by the targeted date deadline assigned after work begins on your project. It will also be important at this stage to clearly identify who will have the authority to provide final approval and sign-off on any project documents and work. Common Planning Questions • What business objectives do you expect to achieve? What are the quantifiable objectives for this initiative? • What are the chief goals and challenges for your business? • What marketing activities does your targeted audience(s) best respond to? What are the lifestyle attitudes for each group, and what media are they most receptive to? • How successful have you been in the past, using similar efforts? • How do you feel that your effort can be differentiated from others similar to this? • How will the publication be distributed? (e.g. available by request, part of a special mailing, email, online, etc.) Concepting: If the project is a first-time publication or is rather complex, this phase typically involves information gathering and brainstorming. Contact the Marketing and Communications staff to set up an initial consultation meeting. Depending upon the project in question, you’ll normally meet with a designated MarCom team member during this first meeting. Consultation with the assigned writer/editor or graphic designer may also be necessary. Ideally, the project will be more efficient and effective if the MarCom staff can work with one person designated as the chief project coordinator, on the What is the purpose of the publication? Who’s the audience? client side of the project. Do you have a theme or message for the project? Will other departments need to be involved in the process? We’ll need to answer these questions What’s the budget for this project? What will your budget allow? during the concepting phase. Writing/Editing: Depending on the overall scope of the project, the writing and editing process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If you need the Marketing and Communications staff to draft the text for your project, please be sure to alert them to this early on, during the initial planning session. Those clients who are going to provide their own text for the project should submit the text in a Word document. We will copyedit your text and, if necessary, provide additional editorial assistance. The MarCom team will then edit for grammar, style and voice, keeping an eye out for such things as capitalization, names of offices and services, school names, building names, business titles, etc. Please do all that you can to avoid changes to your text once design has begun, as this can significantly delay your project. marcomchecklistpublicationdevelopment1-100426154457-phpapp02.doc Page 2 of 4 J.L. McGreevy
    • Design: Two to three weeks is a fairly standard timeframe for a relatively simple design project. For some projects, there may be a need to factor working with an external design firm into the timeline. One to three design concepts will usually be developed for your project, and the MarCom staff will contact you to go over these when they are received from the designer. Your feedback will be incorporated into the final design concept. Proofing: As the client, you are expected to review all project proof(s), which may require further adjustments based on your feedback. Keep in mind that the project’s timeline may be adjusted or delayed when multiple proofs for the same project are required by the client. After final content and images have been received from the you as the client, and/or produced for the project, these will be forwarded on to the designer and/or production firm. A final proof just prior to actual production will be received from the designer and/or production firm, and the MarCom staff will normally do a final proof of the project. Once the MarCom team is satisfied with the quality of the proof, it will typically be forwarded to your office so that you can provide your final approval. It will be up to the client’s project coordinator to see that everyone who has a Proofing Checklist voice in the project has given approval for this final concept. * Confirm that editing from the previous proof is correct Be sure to sign and return the final proof and any related forms * Proofread the text; check spelling, punctuation, etc. to the MarCom office by the requested return date. If you * Check the layout carefully; review proofs carefully and return them quickly, we are able to pay special attention to headlines, subheads, and photo keep your project on schedule. Upon receiving your final captions * Verify names, dates, facts approval and/or any necessary purchase order approval, the and figures * Check mail permit, label MarCom staff will send the project on for final production. guide, return address & other Printing: The MarCom staff will select a firm to produce your project based on the specific needs of the project, pricing, and schedule. Changes made to a project after it has received final approval and then been sent to the printer may result in additional cost and a delay in the schedule. Standard press time is two to three weeks. Complex projects with multiple parts may take longer. Simple print jobs (one color) may take as few as three days. All completed publications will be delivered to the MarCom office by the printer unless other arrangements are made. We will check your project immediately for any printing errors. If there is a problem, the MarCom staff will act as your liaison with the printer. As soon as your project arrives, the MarCom staff will contact you. Our office typically keeps file samples from all jobs. (When alternative arrangements are made for delivery, please send 10 copies to the MarCom office.) Mailing: Not every publication project will involve mailing, but for those projects that do, you should keep in mind that things like invitations should be sent four to six weeks in advance of most events. When planning your publication’s arrival date, please consider the processes you will use for labeling and mailing (first class or bulk rate). marcomchecklistpublicationdevelopment1-100426154457-phpapp02.doc Page 3 of 4 J.L. McGreevy
    • Examples of Publication Types and Concepts Bulletins Articles Booklets Brochures CD/DVD Jackets Invitations Folders Flyers Inserts/Enclosures Newsletters One-Sheets Stationery Project Notes: Discussion & Sign-off Marketing and Communications Staff:_________________________________ Client:____________________________________________________________ marcomchecklistpublicationdevelopment1-100426154457-phpapp02.doc Page 4 of 4 J.L. McGreevy