by George Taniwaki
Once you and your kidney matchmaker have mailed letters to all of your friends, relatives, and others on your mailing list, consider broadcasting your message to an expanding circle to include coworkers, church members, neighbors, and others in your social network who you don’t know as well. One or more of them may be willing to begin the donor evaluation process. But until you tell them, they are unlikely to know of your need for a kidney donor. And if they don’t know, they won’t get tested.
One of the best way to reach these folks is a flyer (Fig 1) posted on a message board where they can see it.
Figure 1. Example of a half-page flyer. Courtesy of Sandra Driscoll
Design a flyer
A flyer can be almost any size from business card (2” x 3-1/2”) to poster (24” x 36” or more). For convenience, I recommend making it 8-1/2” x 11” (or A4 size in Europe) with vertical (portrait) orientation. A good flyer is like an advertisement. It must catch a person’s attention and make them want to stop and read it. Like an advertisement it should have the contain the following elements:
- Photograph or illustration
- Message to potential donors
- Your contact information
- Logo (optional)
- QR code (optional)
- Tear-off tabs (optional)
- Calling card holder (optional)
Tips for creating a flyer are available at the Living Kidney Donor Search (LKDS) website
Items 1 through 5 (Headline to Logo)
Advice for creating a headline, photograph or illustration, message to potential donors, your contact information, and logo are provided in a separate Nov 2013 blog post.
The advice in that blog post was specifically targeted toward the design of a calling card, which is generally much smaller than a flyer. Just because a flyer has more space available doesn’t mean you need to fill it all with text. Having abundant white space makes the flyer attractive and can guide the eye to the important information. Use the extra space to make the headline bigger, make the picture bigger, and add more white space around your message to potential donors. Resist the temptation to add more text and make your story more detailed. Instead keep it the same as your calling card. Or, if you do add more text, do it to make your story more persuasive in order to drive people to your website or take other action.
Add a QR code to your flyer
A QR code is a 2-dimensional bar code (Fig 2). Anyone who owns a smartphone with a built-in camera and a bar code reading app can scan the bar code and be directed to a website with more information.
If you have a personal website or Facebook page with information about your need for a kidney donor, you should add a QR code to your flyer. You can do this by going to http://delivr.com/. This free service will create a bar code for you. Further, every time someone scans your bar code, it will track it and provide you with statistics about the users.
For instance, I created an account on delivr.com. I created a new campaign and entered the address for my patient guide, https://realnumeracy.wordpress.com/kidney-patient-guide/. The delivr.com service creates a custom link for me delivr.com/2tpt6 and generates the QR code that I can include anywhere (Fig 2).
Figure 2. QR code that directs readers to delivr.com/2tpt6 and redirects to realnumeracy.wordpress.com/kidney-patient-guide
An example of a flyer with a QR code is shown below (Fig 3). One suggestion to improve this flyer. I would include the web address in the flyer. That way, people without a smartphone can still visit the website by writing down the address and visiting it once they get home.
Figure 3. Example of a flyer with QR code. Image from Shining Strong for Tarra
Add tear-off tabs to your flyer
To engage people who don’t have a smartphone, you can add tear-off tabs to the bottom of your flyer. The tear-off tab should include your phone number and website address (Fig 4). A little trick to make people more likely to tear off one of the tabs is to tear the first one off yourself before posting the flyer.
Also remember to include all the contact information in the body of the flyer so that people can copy it down in case all the tabs are taken.
Figure 4. Example of a flyer with tear-off tabs. Image from KidneyQuest.com
Add a calling card holder to your flyer
Even better than tear-off tabs is folding the bottom of the flyer to create a pocket to hold your calling cards (Fig 5). Encourage people to take one. Again, remember to include all the contact information in the body of the flyer so that people can copy it down in case all the calling cards are taken.
Figure 5. Example of a flyer with calling card holder
Printing and distributing your flyers
The least expensive way to print your flyers is to use a home inkjet printer. If you don’t have one, you may be able to have your matchmaker or another friend print them for you. Otherwise, you can have them printed at a local print shop. For great tips on choosing paper and printing flyers check out the LKDS website.
Places that often have a bulletin board where you can post your flyer include:
- The print shop where you bought your flyer
- Grocery stores
- Your workplace or union hall and those of all your friends and family members
- Local shopping malls/strip malls
Remember to get permission from the owner of the bulletin board before posting your flyer.
To make it easy for your friends and family to print their own flyers, make sure a copy of it is posted on your website.
For more ideas on finding a donor, see my Kidney patient guide.