The past month or so I’ve been doing work for The United Planning Organization, it is now over. I partnered with one of my peers to create a brochure, fact sheet, media kit, mailing campaign, poster, and print ad for UPO. Our work benefitted UPO in diversifying their media presence, and strengthening their overall campaign.
Our project area emphasized UPO’s community reinvestment. In other words, our work reflects how UPO is a financial resource, or crutch, for those communities and people who need it.
Within the fact sheet and brochure we elaborate on the financial structure of the organization and its societal benefits. The poster, print ad, and mailing campaign serve to catch a reader’s attention and promote UPO through aesthetics. The media kit, or press kit, is a collaboration of sources that sum up UPO. The media kit is essentially a folder we can hand out to the press, or someone merely inquiring about the organization, that will expound upon UPO’s investment and community engagement ideals.
When gathering the content for our work we relied heavily on UPO’s website. Specifically, we used the majority of the content under the tab “Family and Community Services” on their site.
For the brochure I sought out the community reinvestment strategies of other non profits and organizations to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. For instance, I researched charity organizations, cancer-recovery organizations, the Community Reinvestment Act of Alaska, and I even referred to my own nonprofit, the Healing Hope Foundation, for assistance. Shameless plug? I know. What I found: successful advertisements, and information in general, is branded uniformly. That is, all of our work had to be a motif. Thus, it is all visually similar. It has a brand that is unique, and the same throughout all of our content.
As I have previously mentioned gathering content from the organization proved to be an obstacle. I am not saying this was their fault. That is not the point. However, this challenge forced us to break down the creative process of making a fact sheet, brochure, et cetera, without the pictures. This is to say, we adapted the images and media (which we eventually received) into our already established content. This forced us to internalize design principles like the rule of thirds, and the inverted pyramid, the idea that the most important information comes first.
This way, we only left in essential information. Our information had to be of the highest importance, like the media kit, which I like to refer to as: an essentials kit. The images fell into place afterwards.
Another issue we ran into was making finances exciting. Money, of course, has a universal appeal. Financial budgeting, financial business, however, not as enticing a conversation. What I found worked was rhetorical questions within our content.
Let me explain. Rhetorical questions serve as a means for the audience to interact with the media, and in turn, the organization. Some of the questions we asked our viewers: Want to invest in yourself for a change? If someone offered to give you $3 for every dollar you save, would you gladly accept?
This strategy is far more appealing than a banal description of financial services provided by UPO. What we were striving for was for someone to pick up our brochure our see our poster and think, UPO sounds like a thriving organization. How can they help me?
Interactivity is one of the most effective and likewise influential ways to engage people. Making someone else do something, may be one of the hardest tasks in life. Even with incentive it is seemingly arduous to evoke human reaction. Our goals were steep, but we were prepared for the climb.
We are both proud of the work we have accomplished this past month and are satisfied in knowing UPO will be as well. After all, there is no greater exercise of the soul than to reach out and help others. UPO is a great organization, with great goals, and we are simply glad we could be a part of the process.