How to plan and develop publications - ESRC


Choosing a channel

Choosing the right channel for your publication will increase its chances of reaching and influencing the target audience.


Print is a commonly used channel and is still often the most popular with many target audiences.

Think creatively about the format of your printed material, but ensure your ideas are practical. It may look good, but is it a practical size or shape to be photocopied, filed on a shelf, carried in a briefcase or read on a train?

With print you also need to think about how many copies you will need and how they will be distributed.

Electronic or digital

Electronic publishing is becoming increasingly popular, particularly email bulletins and newsletters. It is relatively cheap and has other advantages, such as ease of production and distribution.

It is important to decide if digital is the right channel for your target audience. Do not confuse ease of distribution with appropriateness of medium. It is easy to send out emails in bulk, but if the email is irrelevant or goes to the wrong people, it is just junk mail.

When using electronic formats, you should:

  • cater for the lowest common denominator in terms of technology – some users may have older browsers or slower broadband connections
  • avoid sending large files of information or pictures in electronic format – it is better to send a short email with a link to your website so users can download the information if and when they need it
  • keep accessibility and readability of content front of mind.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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