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How to Create Fact Sheets and Action Alerts
"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive,
but it is lightening that does the work."
The point of a fact sheet or action alert is to get the reader to do something. More information than you need to convince them is a waste of the reader's time and risks losing their attention. Make it as easy as possible for them to take your action. If you want them to make a call, give them the number. If you want a legislator to vote yes on a bill, give him the bill number and title.
- One page is best
- Make it readable - use at least 12 point font
- Keep the text brief - no one wants to read tons of information in small font
- Keep the most important information in the first paragraph - what the issue is, what action is needed, and label the main message(s)
- Give references for more information - in electronic communications you can offer links
- The fact sheet must be self-contained - do not refer to previous documents or assume that they remember the information
- Use bullets when you can
- Leave lots of white space
- Make it very clear what you want them to do - Bold, text boxes, and graphics add emphasis
Give them all the tools they need to take the action - do not say "call your legislator" instead give them the numbers; give legislators the bill number you want them to vote for.
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