Planning Guide

This Marketing Project Planning Guide will help you get started on planning your marketing projects.

Download this Marketing Project Planning Guide (PDF)

Getting Started

Before undertaking any communications project, you should consider the following:

  • Audience
  • Objective
  • Message
  • Strategy
  • Methods
  • Distribution
  • Budget and Schedule

Please review the rest of this page and download and fill out this form (link to pdf) as you plan your project. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask the marketing department ( We’re here to help you. 


Resources: Who Should Do The Work?

All marketing endeavors should be a combined effort between the marketing department and the department or business unit requesting a project. Producing quality publications requires considerable expertise, including but not limited to writing, editing, graphic design and layout and print production. For this reason it is imperative that you work with marketing department.

It is the responsibility of the requesting department to provide final copy and images before submitting a project request. The marketing department will be responsible for the project management of graphic design, layout and print production. 


Schedule/Deadline: When do you need your publication?

Please remember the following when scheduling your project:

  • Always get started as early as you possibly can.
  • Quality publications take time to develop from concept to print-ready electronic files.
  • Rush schedules are costly and increase the chance of errors getting through to your final piece.
  • Development time can run from a few weeks or a month to many months’ time. (Please review the marketing department intranet pages for estimated time per type of project.)
  • The actual printing time alone will vary from a few days to a week for a simple, small piece to as much as three weeks for an elaborate publication. 



  • What type of publication is right for your project? 
  • How will it be distributed? 
  • If printed, how many do you need to last for how long? 


Projects can vary tremendously in type, size and shape: brochures, booklets, fliers, postcards, posters, electronic advertisements, emails, invitations, etc., or a combination of any of these. The length of text and the photos, illustrations or other imagery you want to include will drive what format will work best.

Please consider the following:

  • Your audience’s attention span: less is frequently more and a picture is worth a thousand words
  • How will you distribute the piece? Will it be a self-mailer, placed in an envelope or handed out at a fair or conference? Will it be emailed or submitted to a newspaper for advertising?
  • Consider postal regulations and costs as you choose a format for print
  • Please have mailing lists and delivery plans in place by the time the piece is printed if it is to be mailed.
  • The more you can print, the better your unit printing price will be. However, please consider when the content of your piece will become out of date.
  • Remember that budget limitations are always the final determinant.



How much money do you have to invest?

Many of the issues mentioned above need to be answered, at least tentatively, to proceed with cost estimates from those providing services, placing advertisement or from printers. You may want to get some initial estimates to help with the decision-making process and then proceed with formal, competitive bids once the project is well defined.

Download this Marketing Project Planning Guide (PDF)