Using a few traditional communication and advertising methods can be extremely effective when launching a new site or service.
I recently pre-launched a site for a medical research organisation to collaborate and organise their activities. The site introduces the users to many new concepts such as blogging, commenting, file sharing and most importantly a shift away from a reliance on email.
I thought it was important to introduce them to the site gradually and not overwhelm them with a massive feature list. So I decided to produce a series of tri-fold handouts (as above) to give out both in person and in the mail. As soon as I produced the first one, folded it and had it in my hand, I realised you just can’t beat something visual and tangible like this. That’s why magazines and books won’t die out anytime soon. I’m backing this up with some online material, but I just don’t think you can beat handouts. This is especially true when you are working with an audience new to online collaboration.