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Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council

ORC - Serving All Oklahomans with Disabilities

How to Create Fact Sheets and Action Alerts

"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive,
but it is lightening that does the work."

Mark Twain

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.