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


Thursday 1 July 2010

Deep listening to a brochure

People make judgments in a split second, not based on rational weighing of costs and benefits, but through ‘irrational’ associations with deeply ingrained values, feelings, and experiences. That’s how we scan headlines, pick up magazines and surf the internet. It is also how we browse a brochure and put it aside or grab the phone. I just came across SOS Save our Species, a brochure from a IUCN-GEF-Worldbank initiative to raise funds from the private sector for species conservation. Going through the brochure I started to like the initiative and its potential. At the same time I came up with 5 things I would had done differently:
1. Have the animals on each page look from left to right: avoid ‘looking backward’, forward looking associates with the future. That is the language of the private sector.
2. Start with a vision how species underpins our life, our business. Don’t start with the threats: guilt shuts us down and makes us put the brochure aside.
3. Use pictures of animals we can emotionally relate to; a tiger pub is better than a rhino; we can’t relate to plants but we can relate to a farmer in her field, a fisherman on his boat or a doctor in her laboratory.
4. Use common sense, make it personal: “We all love nature. We all want to conduct business in a responsible way. Here we offer a range of concrete opportunities to combine the two. You can associate yourself, your employees and clients with a conservation project of your choice”. Don't use conservation jargon.
5. Support our species, support our own species, might be better that the current tagline. Actually I would avoid all SOS connotations. SOS associates with disasters. Nobody wants to contribute to a lost case. That's what the private sector calls: "throwing good money to bad money."

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