Parole officers had interesting work to come to every day. There was always someone new and different to deal with, and their customers were a bit out of the mainstream of normal life. Still the parole officer performed an important function, and society recognized that. One of the problems which many of them faced was that whereas their clients were often well meaning, they screwed up at a fairly frequent rate because they weren’t terribly well organized. In prison, they didn’t have to be: everything was planned out for them, and they had no real responsibilities. That more than anything else was the problem that parole officers had to come: getting their clients organized.
They decided to call on someone they knew who might be in a position to advise them: a salesman at a full service printing company and who had helped them in the past. They ran into him by chance, and they invited him over to visit them in their location. After listening to their concerns and understanding their situation, he came back to them and recommended a presentation folder.
A presentation folder would be given to each parolee and in it would be copies of all of the things that he or she was responsible for. It would include reporting schedules to be followed and all citizenship legislation which covered the particular situation of the parolee. The parolee would be required to keep the folder on hand at all times in order to help police or anyone else in authority understand his or her unique situation. This idea would help the parole understand the importance of getting and staying organized.
Basically, a presentation folder ought to contain enough documents that any employee can sell or maintain your products and any customer can use it properly. It should also be designed in such a way that you have maximum flexibility. A folder for a sales conference should look different and contain different items from that of a folder for a managers’ conference or a franchisors’ conference.
We recommend a corporate logo or perhaps something such as a title and illustration to show what the conference is all about. As for coloration, the cover stock of the folder probably ought not to be white, as that suggests that it is just a generic folder. Better to use a color which has some understood meaning, such as a company color or a theme of the presentation.
As for the individual items going into the folder, there may be quite a bit of variation. You may have a variety of brochures of different designs. You may have flyers with last minute details, schedules, agendas, maps and so forth. The bottom line is that the success of the project depends on the completeness and relevance of the materials. A good full service printing company will be able to provide you with any configuration that you finally decide on.
The first thing they see is the cover. That’s where your company logo is displayed. Keep in mind that the logo is not the brand. The logo is just a symbol of the brand. The actual brand is revealed by how you conduct your presentation and the quality of the products and services you provide.
Inside the presentation folder are other documents which help to reveal the brand:
There are brochures which detail the individual products and services. Or this information could be in booklet form;
There is a sales policy brochure. There could be a booklet which details the history and organization of the company as well as its complete line of products;
There are no-fold brochures or perhaps flyers which detail financing terms, or customer return policies, or pricing schemes;
There are company cards wedged into small cuts in the cardboard of the presentation folder;
There could be a folded-up poster which can be taken home and put on a wall as a way of advertising the company to friends and family.
All of these imagined printed materials are useful in that they tell potential customers who you are, what you do, how you operate, and how you want to be perceived. These materials are not in and of themselves your brand per se, but they are critical to helping you shape your public image, and that in turn is critical to building your brand.
As for the folders themselves, we recommend that every document and every page of every document be carefully planned. We strongly endorse the use of graphs and charts and as many big picture ideas as you can come up with. At these events, people are looking for the next big idea. They are not there to participate in a study hall. A good full service printer can take all of your ideas and put them into brochures, flyers and booklets which will use four color printing and clear, legible typeface. For a conference where so much emphasis is placed on image, you are going to want your presentation folders and all the content in them to stand out and be highly informative and readable. Ask your full service printer to go over all of your graphics and layout choices with you to make sure your choices make the best impression. All of your documents should include your internet links: website, Facebook and Twitter if you have it.