Newspaper Inserts

Print version

<< Your Care Your Say

Engagement range


Difficulty level



Medium ($1000 to $10,000) to High (over $10,000)

When you might use

  • To showcase product, plan, policy

  • To communicate an issue

Number of people to organise

One to three, depends on the audience size and level of complexity

Audience numbers

Large (over 30)


Medium (six weeks to six months) to long (six to 12 months) 


Staff; Expertise in journalistic or advertising style or writing and layout

Innovation level



An insert is a fact sheet that can be disseminated via a local newspaper. Inserts achieve high-level publicity for a project and normally are used at the commencement of a project. They create interest, describe the issue being considered and outline opportunities for public involvement in the participation process. Newspaper supplements can serve similar purposes, but cover the issue in more detail through features articles and/or advertisements. They can be a paid advertising arrangement, or can be put together by news staff in the public interest. Such supplements may include feedback opportunities, and may outline opportunities for public involvement.



To reach and inform the majority of people in a targeted geographic area about an issue or proposal.


Desired outcome

Increase awareness of a proposal or issue, even though many inserts will not be read.



  • Achieves high level publicity.
  • Provides information.
  • When a large number of potential stakeholders exist.
  • When a large number of people are affected by a development decision (eg road works/planning scheme preparation).
  • Outlines opportunities for public involvement in a participation process.
  • Special considerations/weaknesses
  • Content should be simply stated, concise and unambiguous.
  • Content should provide basic information (do not overload with too much information).
  • Contact information should be provided.
  • Cost may be a factor if the newspaper charges for the inserts, or insists on advertising.
  • If undertaken as a community service, rather than a commercial transaction, distribution depends on the newspapers willingness to insert the flyers, leaflets, etc.

Step by step guide

  1. Decide the size, cost and number of inserts by determining the potential number of stakeholders, and how these match with the delivery areas of the newspaper.
  2. Decide on your key messages, including methods for public participation.
  3. Write your information in simple, concise and unambiguous language.
  4. Outline major events and the duration of the participation process.
  5. Include contact information (i.e. key project staff [by name], information hotline numbers, location of information repository [if any], phone, email and website addresses).
  6. If possible, use trained layout help to ensure the inserts attract interest and are easy to read.
  7. Record contact made as a result of the insert, and add to project mailing list.
  8. Use to report project outcomes as well as publicising the process.

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