You know those brochures you had printed up last year, the ones that are stacked in the supply room? Those are a good example of the oft forgotten PR step: distribution. There have been hundreds of times over the years that clients have asked us to create collaterals for them, from giveaways to rack cards, fact sheets, etc. and when we ask them, “Who are you going to give them to and how?” there’s usually either a blank stare or a vague answer like, “Our customers, you know, we’ll hand them out.”

Before you invest in developing any printed or electronic item, have a clear and specific distribution plan. Begin with deciding which publics you want to receive the items and the best way to get them into their hands. For example, if you’re creating a rack card advertising a service that visitors would be interested in, ask surrounding resorts if you can provide them with in-room collaterals. Then you will know exactly how many to print and who to target. If you are writing a fact sheet about your business, include it in new customer e-mailings so that they can learn more about your history, products, and services (click here to find out how to write a fact sheet or to see a fact sheet template). Also, for both of these items, save them as PDF files to post on your web and send as email attachments. (All company materials that are sent electronically should be saved as PDFs so that no one can manipulate your content and so that recipients can easily access the files.)

So remember to think about the second step of distribution, keeping your end goals in mind, before you even begin producing any materials. The method and target of your distribution will help you decide the format, quantity, and content of your collaterals.

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