Research Study Marketing Guidelines

Before You Begin

As you develop your research study marketing plan, including schedule and budget, please be mindful of the following:

  • Identity. All materials produced to promote University of Pittsburgh research studies must reflect University of Pittsburgh identity. Use of additional logos is strongly discouraged.
  • Input. When it comes to your research, you are the expert. You should provide draft text—in a Word document—for your marketing materials. If you would like to provide images, they must be high resolution and high quality. Alternatively, the designers have access to a wide array of photographic images and can identify visuals to support your unique study; however, you must provide specific guidance about what type of image will best support your study since there is a cost associated with obtaining stock photography.
  • Output. Professionally designed print materials are created with crops and bleeds for high-quality, professional printing and must be printed in quantities of 50 or more. They are not suitable for local printing, such as on a department printer. If you plan to print art locally, let the designer know before work begins.
  • Schedule. Printing can take up to two weeks; design can take up to a week; and reviews (internal and IRB) can take a week or much longer. Be sure to build appropriate time into your schedule for a standard turnaround. Completing “rush” requests may not be possible or may result in additional charges.
  • Cost. To help with your budgeting, we have prepared a list of approximate design and production costs for commonly produced research study materials. Please note that these are approximations and NOT formal quotes or estimates, which will vary for each project and can be obtained upon request.
Print Deliverable Estimated Design Cost Estimated Print Cost
8.5" x 11" one-sided poster or flyer $250-$300 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) Quantity: 50, Estimated Cost: $60
with non-perforated tear-off tabs   100 ($70), 250 ($100), 500 ($160)
11" x 17" one-sided poster $250-$300 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) 50 ($75), 100 ($100), $250 ($180)
Trifold (brochure) $500-$600 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) 100 ($115), 250 ($180), 500 ($280)
9" x 6" one-sided tabling card $150-$200 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) 100 ($60), 250 ($75), 500 ($110)
9" x 6" two-sided tabling card $200-$250 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) 100 ($70), 250 ($105), 500 ($160)
6" x 4" postcards $150-$200 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) 250 ($85), 5,000 ($480), 10,000 ($900)
9" x 6" postcards $150-$200 plus stock photo cost ($50 each) 250 ($115), 5,000 ($830), 10,000 ($1,200
Art Only Deliverable Estimated Design Cost
Newspaper/magazine ad $450-$550 plus stock photo costs
Stock media ad suite $750-$850 plus stock photo costs
Port Authority bulkhead ad $450-$550 plus stock photo costs

Postcard Bulk Mailings

Postcard bulk mailings remain an effective way to engage targeted demographic groups. Mailing services companies can provide mailing lists based on gender, age, zip code, and many other factors. Knowing who you want to reach will help you to determine your print quantity and cost. To conduct a postcard bulk mailing, you’ll need design and printing services and the help of University Mailing Services.

Learn about the bulk postcard process for research study postcards.

Advertising with Port Authority of Allegheny County

Many researchers choose to place bus bulkhead or other ads with Port Authority of Allegheny County. The Advertise with Us page on the Port Authority website includes helpful information.

Advertising design support is available through the Port Authority in-house creative team. The cost is $500, which includes an initial meeting, two layouts, and two client revisions. Additional layouts or revisions will be $75 each. Production costs are determined based on the specific deliverable. Advertising rates vary based on many factors, including coverage area and length of contract.

Maurice Fisher, advertising account executive at Port Authority, can provide guidance and can be reached at or 412-566-5229.