Why a brochure isn’t just an executive summary with pictures

We often prepare brochures based on detailed technical reports. One of our clients asked us what the difference was between the text in a brochure and that in a report’s executive summary.

We discussed with them the many differences between brochures and report summaries. Here are just some of them.

 

  • A brochure is usually aimed at a wide, non-technical audience, so should be more interesting and compelling than an executive summary (which really should just be called a summary). The starting point in preparing a brochure needs to be the audience, which will dictate the messages and the writing style.

 

  • A brochure shouldn’t include a summary of everything in the report – it should focus on the important aspects of the report for the target audience. Material in a brochure is selective, whereas a report summary should at least touch on all contents.

 

  • Illustrations such as photos and graphics are important in a brochure and are likely to reduce the amount of text needed. A picture is worth …

 

  • Brochure text often has other applications, such as being used on a website (because of its engaging style and suitability for a wider audience).

 

  • While we now rely far less on printed material, there are always times and places where a hard copy brochure is useful; for example, at a conference display.

 

  • A report summary is usually the final section to be completed in a report. An effective brochure is born from careful thought about audience needs,              key messages and how to effectively communicate them.

 

Paul Holper

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