So you’ve decided to run a print ad in your local newspaper. The paper may have even told you they could produce the artwork for you if you just tell them what should be in the ad. Problem is, you’re not sure what should be in the ad.

The first thing you need to do is answer the following question: What is your objective for the ad? You need to know what result you expect the ad to accomplish in order to determine what needs to go into the ad.

Once you determine your objective (e. g. I want them to visit my store; I want them to call me for more information; I want them to take advantage of my promotion) you can decide what needs to be in the ad to successfully convince them to take this action. The problem I notice with most ads is they lack focus. There is too much info and too much going on in the ad for the reader to be able to clearly understand the primary message the advertiser is trying to impart.

Your goal should be to impart one SINGLE message. And that message should support your objective. Keep your ad simple and to the point. You may be creative, but make sure the reader clearly understands what you are selling, what you want them to do, and several ways they can take action (e. g. call, visit your store, visit your web site, email).

(C) 2005 Debbie LaChusa