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It’s so easy to replicate what you’ve done in previous years with updated course information, but is that the right thing to be doing?

At Elephant Creative we work closely with our clients to review their prospectus, the good, the bad and the ugly and all too often we end up identifying the same problems. We thought it would be useful to let you know the common mistakes we find when looking at prospectuses:

  • Too much information – in today’s day and age, the first place to look for information is usually the internet. There isn’t a need to put every little detail into a prospectus, use it as a tool to drive people to your website, where they can see up to the minute information in a friendly format.
  • Make it easy to navigate – think about how people will be using the document, will they already know the subject area and so want to go straight to the courses they know they are interested in? Don’t over complicate the index, keep it top level.
  • Make it legible – don’t cram so much onto a page that you have to have tiny font sizes, make it easy to read.
  • Use plain English – don’t use jargon and acronym, keep it simple… and never forget the importance of words… if you have a beautifully designed prospectus it’s totally wasted unless you invest similarly in the content that goes into it.
  • Signpost information – make it clear how a reader can find out more information, where they can look or who they can contact. A prospectus shouldn’t be a one stop shop, it should be the window to your college.
  • Keep it personal  – Above all, your college is the sum total of the people in it… and too many colleges forget that when it comes to making the prospectus. They’re too focused on exam results to remember that many of the people reading it will be apprehensive about what is a big step… into the unknown.  Make sure it reflects the personality and culture (as well as your caring side, support and enrichment) just as much as it shouts about your academic brilliance.

Take a fresh look at your prospectus, imagine you are a new student looking to find out information about your college, is it easy and straight forward?

For more information on our project management, design and copywriting services, for college prospectuses, please contact Helen Hammond.

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