Top Priorities With Handouts

  1. Focus on your content. With content pieces, make sure the focus is on your unit/services. Avoid including admissions content or anything that runs the risk of changing. Share stories and make the material as engaging and worthwhile as you can.
  2. Consider the quality. Cheap handouts will be ignored and find their way to the trash quickly. Invest in high-quality pieces, such as booklets, die-cuts, or keepsake items like swag. Fun items attract attention and are more likely to last.
  3. Build and strengthen brand awareness. Aside from making sure your content is on brand, try to produce lasting materials. If you take the time to produce materials, make it a goal to produce something that lasts. That way, more people will be exposed to the Illinois brand. Also, make sure the Illinois logo is prominent.
  4. Encourage action. It’s difficult to encourage immediate action with physical items since you can’t link to a URL. You can include QR codes, though, making it easier to visit online content. You can also create intrigue or offer benefits so your audience is more likely to seek out additional information or take action later. Get creative and be intentional with what you want from your audience.

OUA’s Handout Strategy

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides handouts at campus visits, college fairs, high school visits, and other in-person events.

Handouts are designed to achieve the following:

  • Provide a physical takeaway for later reference
  • Complement counselor interactions and presentations
  • Help students and families navigate campus visits
  • Assist students with admissions and applications processes
  • Deliver key messages
  • Encourage actions (explore, sign up, apply, visit, accept)
  • Build and strengthen brand awareness

How to Measure Success

As with all print, it’s difficult to know how impactful handouts are. Here are a few ways to measure success:

  1. Gather input. OUA conducts annual surveys that provide some information about how students view and use our materials. Focus groups can also provide insights into expectations and perceptions around print materials.
  2. Create unique URLs. By attaching a unique URL to a print piece, you can see how many receivers actually scan a QR code or take that specific action by reviewing the analytics attached to the unique URL.