A few years ago, a wellness conference organizer got up in front of the crowd on opening day of the conference and the first sentence out of his mouth was, “Wellness is more than a brochure.” We had just forked up a few thousand dollars to be there, and they’d cashed my check for a table in the exhibit area. We were displaying brochures.
I would have paid dearly for a big, fat, rotten tomato at that moment. But I needn’t worry. The crowd booed him, asked for their money back, called him a charlatan, and starting chanting, “We want Connors, we want Connors.”
Well, not exactly. A couple people smiled (you know who you were), and the audience seemed to accept the organizer’s statement. The conference went on. And I couldn’t find a rotten tomato anywhere for three days. All the available vegetables were fresh.
I’ve been thinking about that brochure crack for a few years now. It still irks me. As you can tell, I’ve solved all the other problems in my life so I can focus on this.
Here’s what I’ve come up with. I’d take a well-designed, plain language, accurate, tightly written, action-oriented brochure over a complex workplace wellness program any day of the week.
Let’s review the benefits of a brochure:
- They work. Sometimes they take the form of a Declaration, Constitution, Address, Resolution, Credo, or Commandments. The truth has a ring to it, and it presents itself simply. And powerfully.
- Every word counts. Everything not contributing to the message or the call-to-action is left out.
- The message is relevant and compelling, and thus interesting.
- People like brochures because people know them to be brief, easy-to-understand, convenient, actionable, and private.
- Brochures are usually very low cost or free. Their grassroots origins are non-intimidating, familiar, and welcome.
So, if you want to get people moving, eating better, or adapting to our stressful world, don’t tell me there is more to it than a brochure. There may be nothing to it without one.
Shawn is the President and Founder of Hope Health. For over 30 years, his work has focused on bringing clear, easy-to-read and watch health messages to the public via workplaces. He bills himself as the “Best C+ Student in the Wellness Biz” because, as he says, “I like to challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Shawn is on a mission to tie workplaces into their surrounding communities to share resources and ideas in an effort to improve the health of all Americans.
You may reach Shawn at sconnors@HopeHealth.com or 800-334-4094.