This guide is intended to show activists how to organize a leaflet campaign.


For years, leaflet campaigns have proven to be a powerful advertising method. In light of the method’s success as an affordable promotional tool, activists and non-profit organizations continue to utilize leaflet distribution.


How do I create a leaflet?

What to include in a leaflet?

How to pay for a leaflet?

Where to hand out a leaflet?

What should I do if approached by a non-supporter?


Before creating a leaflet, be sure to have a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish with the literature piece. Whether it is raising awareness, rallying support, or mobilizing for action, it is wise to keep your original aim in mind throughout the leaflet development process.

As leaflets tend to be viewed quickly, clarity in layout is imperative.

Once the piece is complete, it is wise to pilot your leaflet among family and friends. Essentially, these individuals will serve as a focus group for your literature.

To avoid costly full-colour printing, many recommend printing black and white leaflets on brightly coloured paper.

To prevent distortion associated with black and white printing, ensure a high contrast exists between all visual elements on your literature piece — i.e. images, text, and background.


Before preparing the content of any leaflet, it is important to first identify your target audience. Tailoring literature pieces to your audience will ensure that your leaflet is understandable and informative.

While your leaflet’s layout should be visually appealing, the text must also seek to engage your audience. As capturing a reader’s attention is crucial, writers should limit text and refrain from lengthy explanations. Ideal content would consist of clear and easily understandable statements, at an appropriate reading level. Undoubtedly, a leaflet should be persuasive and convince a reader to take action. Further, contact information should be provided for those interested in the cause.


While other marketing possibilities are expensive by comparison, the production and printing of leaflets can also be a costly venture. A little investigative work, however, may uncover some opportunities for financial support for literature development. In some cases, community activist organizations, student groups, or local unions may offer grants, or be able to contribute resources.

Distribution locations

There are many possible locations for leaflet distribution. Viable locations include: university campuses, public events, screenings, community meetings, etc.

When deciding on a distribution location, ensure that your literature is appropriate for potential readers at that vicinity.

Prepare for confrontation

Leaflets can be used to cover an infinite array of topics. While many political issues are contentious, it is clear that some topics are more controversial than others. If you intend to hand out a leaflet on a hotly contested topic, it is wise to prepare for confrontation. In order to prevent any unpleasantries, a contingency plan should be devised pre-distibution. All volunteers should be aware of the plan so that if an hostile situation were to arise, appropriate action could be taken to disfuse the situation immediately.