World Intellectual Property Organization

Outreach - Using Publications and Printed Materials

The many advantages offered by printed publications make them one of the most used communications tools in outreach campaigns. Publications can reach large audiences with more targeted, technical and detailed information than that which can be communicated through press releases advertisements. Publications are handy educational tools that remain with the target audience for future reference and consultation.

An obvious disadvantage of publications is the cost related to their mailing and printing. Perhaps a more important disadvantage for publications is that they are only as effective as their distribution. Appropriate mailing lists and distribution at special events and key locations are essential to the communications success of publications.


Translating WIPO Publications

The creation of original IP publications requires substantial investments in staff hours, design, and printing costs. Translating existing IP publications, therefore can be an attractive option for many organizations. WIPO authorizes, and indeed encourages, the translation of its publications. For specific arrangements on the translation of a WIPO publication, please send an e-mail to

A selection of WIPO's free publications, grouped according to their target audience, is available.

Creating Original Publications

Some IP-related campaigns may require the creation of a very specific, local publication. Below are a few writing and design tips to make the most out of your guides, studies, reports, booklets and leaflets.

Writing Tips:

1. Understand your readers:

  • Who are they?
  • What are their needs and interests?
  • What do they already know about the issue your publication will address?
  • What would they expect / want to learn from your publication?
  • How much free time would they willingly devout to reading your publication?
  • The answers to the above questions will help you determine the most important content, level of detail, types of examples, and ideal length for your publication.

2. Keep your communication objectives and distribution strategy in mind:

  • What is the main message you wish to communicate with this publication?
  • What change in attitudes of behavior is the publication aiming to bring about?
  • How and where will the publication be distributed?

3. Choose the language and structure of  the publication according to knowledge level and interests of your target audience. Unless the publication is aimed at IP specialists, avoid legal and technical language.

4.  Keep your points clear, short and simple.

5.  Make it easy for readers to find the information they need or are interested in.

6.  Break up large chunks of information into sections that can be easily identified and quickly read.

7.  Build up complicated information by first creating interest on your subject, then providing basic facts and general information, and finally providing detailed information on more complex issues.

8.  Include your organization’s address and contact number where further information can be provided.

A good graphic design can liven up your publication, grab the reader’s attention, and highlight important information. The design tips below can help achieve this.


 Distributing Publications

As mentioned, publications are only as effective as their distribution. Having a clear idea of what the target audience is for a specific publication and where its members can be reached is key to developing an effective distribution strategy for the publication. The strategy will pinpoint the specific places where the target audience is likely to see and pick-up a copy of the publication. Common means of distribution for publications include:

  • Websites (downloadable PDFs should be available not only at the website of the publishing organizations but also at other related websites that the target audience is likely to visit).
  • Fairs, exhibitions, trade shows, concerts and other events attended by the target audience.
  • Direct mailings
  • Specific institutions, clubs, and associations aimed at the same target audience (including, trade associations, universities, museums, inventors clubs, etc.)

Other Print Materials

Posters, bookmarks, calendars, postcards and other such print materials can contribute to awareness raising activities without incurring huge costs. The more attractive these materials are, the more people will want to use them and the more they will be reminded of the campaign's message. It is therefore important to carefully choose the type and style of print product that will be given away to the target audience. Below are some tips for making posters more effective:

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