Planning an Outreach Campaign – The WIPO Mini-Guides

September 2006

Everybody is doing it. But how many do it well?

Outreach encompasses the countless forms of activity intended to raise awareness and understanding of different aspects of intellectual property (IP): Anti-piracy commercials designed to strike fear into the hearts of teenage down-loaders; award schemes to promote aspiring inventors; glossy publications to guide small businesses through the patenting maze. On World Intellectual Property Day, IP offices run competitions and conferences. And all year round, Industry groups spend huge sums to deter shoppers from buying fake brands. But which of these resources are being well spent? What sort of outreach activities have the most impact?

Relatively little information is available on how to plan an effective IP outreach campaign. So in response to repeated requests for guidance from IP offices and organizations, WIPO has created a set of online mini-guides. Now available in the new Outreach area of the WIPO website, the guides offer information to help IP managers to plan and implement outreach campaigns.

Guides such as this cannot, of course, replace the services of local communications professionals. Moreover, local customs and culture have an enormous impact on how messages are worded and promoted in publicity campaigns around the world. With this in mind, the WIPO guides have been stripped to the essentials.

Getting the right message to the right audience

An effective outreach campaign or activity is one that succeeds in getting a message across to a particular audience, which influences the behavior of that audience. Easier said than done. Shouting loudly is not enough to make people listen. Research, reflection and careful planning will increase the chances of reaching the intended audience - and having an impact.

The WIPO guides are divided into two main sections. These break down the questions which need to be addressed at each stage, and then set out a series of steps to put the answers into action.

The first part, Planning a Public Outreach Campaign, covers how to:

  • establish the strategic goals,
  • identify the target audience,
  • use research in formulating an effective message – including tapping into pre-existing research, and
  • develop a communications program.

The second part, Using Communications Tool Effectively, provides an introduction to using different communications media, such as Internet, film, television, brochures, celebrity spokespeople, the press and special events.

The guides will shortly be expanded to include a database of links to interesting IP outreach materials from around the world. This will include examples of well-planned campaigns, such as Brazil’s anti-piracy campaign, eye-catching posters, effective websites, and more. Readers are encouraged to recommend their favorite examples for eventual inclusion in this resource.

Recommend outreach campaigns and materials for the Outreach Examples database.

The WIPO Magazine is intended to help broaden public understanding of intellectual property and of WIPO’s work, and is not an official document of WIPO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WIPO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. This publication is not intended to reflect the views of the Member States or the WIPO Secretariat. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WIPO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.