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Step 2: Design your ad

Prepare an ad that is generic enough to run at any time, or for a several-month period. You won't know whether your ad will be used in the next issue or three months from now, so it will save you money if you only have to update the image once or twice a year.

Try to include a picture or short slogan that will catch people's eyes. Remember that this image will probably appear very small - it is unlikely that the magazine will give you a whole page - so avoid lots of text or images that will be unrecognizable when condensed.

If you are a membership organization, use a photo that captures the essence of your group, include a few membership benefits and give a telephone number or web address for more information. If you have an issue campaign, make sure it is simple and that it clearly states what action you would like people to take. For example, the message "Please Recycle" printed over a photo of an overflowing landfill will get your message across much better than "Plastic bottles are filling up land fills." Remember, if you have a web site it is a good idea to include the address in the ad.

Design the ad in each of the sizes listed on the ad spec sheet (1/2 page, 1/4 page, 1/8 page, etc.). Also on this sheet you will see a number for the line resolution. Once you have designed the ad, have it outputted at the specified line resolution. (You may want to take it to a print shop unless you have a highly advanced printer and do a lot of production work in house.) Different magazines may have different specs so you may need to customize a bit.

On to Step 3: Send it out!

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