Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday, 17 February 2008

Ineffective presentation: an example

An ineffective brochure occurs when there is no communication strategy behind it. When managers or scientists - and not communaction specialists - are in control of making a brochure this is what happens. They task a desk top publisher to cut and paste texts from reports and publications and mix them with visuals into a product that ‘looks’ good.
A few weeks ago the latest LIFE and Europe’s wetlands brochure fell on my doormat. The tagline was good: Restoring a vital ecosystem. And – although hidden in the text - the news is also good. Good but spoilt by ten times too many words and far too much jargon. An average of two photos per page does not make it better, especially when the images do not really support the message. Even specialists will not read all this, let alone the general public or decision makers in other sectors. At random I take a sentence from a page (33):
The eradication of exotic species in particular cherry (Prunus sp), giant reed (Arundo donax) and plantation of autochthonous vegetation, carried out in different areas of the lake basin, helped to enlarge and protect habitats under the directive: mainly temporary Mediterranean ponds (3170), calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus (7210) and residual alluvial forests of Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (91E0).

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