Have you ever been handed a brochure or pamphlet at the doctor? You know, you’ve just been diagnosed with swamp foot or hummingbird ear, and the doctor hands you something like this:

doctor pamphlet

Image via FY Springfield

These brochures and handouts tend to be pretty dry and impersonal. Sure, there’s important information in there, but they make you work for it. That’s a problem-we wouldn’t want someone ignoring important care instructions because they were buried in the middle of a dull, dense paragraph…the fourth dull, dense paragraph on the page.

So how can we make these important communications easier and more enjoyable to read, so more people pay attention to them and actually follow them? My vet’s office, Roscoe Village Animal Hospital, has one idea.

care instructions from vet

The care instructions are personalized with my pet’s name. That automatically made me pay more attention. The personalization also made me feel like the care instructions were customized for my pet, so I paid extra double attention. Long story short, I will be quoting from these care instructions like they’re a sacred ancient text.

Adding in a name to a brochure or handout is so easy to do-it’s not even Personalized Marketing 101, it’s the remedial class they make you take over the summer. But so many communications skip this step, and other easy steps that improve the chances of your audience paying attention and being able to understand. It’s a matter of switching the marketing mindset from, “These are important facts, and because they are important people will read them,” to something more like, “This is an important message, and because it’s important I need to communicate them in a way that makes them easy to understand and put to use.”

Care instructions are such an important piece of communication. Kudos to my vet for treating them like a valuable message instead of a form.