Getting your message across

The Bermuda Democratic Alliance released their economic platform today and while they get points for effort do they seem to miss the mark in a number of areas?  Unfortunately their actual platform document (aside from the link on their website not supporting Chrome) doesn’t contain the solutions they outline in their press conference speech.  The formatting and design of the document is quite appealing and gets off to a good start but unfortunately some of the graphics are not very clear.

Let’s take the following page as an example.

image

The concept is a good one, show our debt and show how our government is overspending.  Unfortunately the execution of it is less obvious.  There is only a subtle difference in the size of the expenses arrow vs. the income arrow.  Are they also trying to imply that expenses are rising and income is falling?  It’s not obvious.  This understates the severity of the situation. 

Subsequently the stick figures with $25k listed next to them looks more like they’re cheering as having received $25k rather than what the fine print outlines that we’re all about $25k in debt. 

A clearer illustration of our debt, expenses and income would have helped alongside a picture clearly depicting the severity of the burden we face.  Ie, a google search for “clipart person carrying burden” reveals this image which can be purchased in multiple sizes for less than $5.

man carrying the load  Would it have been more illustrative to have put a big dollarsign on the box with an arrow to it outlining the $25k of debt per person with the hill being climbed labeled as “Government overspend”. 

That’s just one example of many possibilities.  When trying to get a message across to people it’s important to note that you only have a matter of seconds to capture their attention.  Subsequently most people don’t have the background to know what you’re trying to say.  To many people $850 million is a meaningless number.  It’s big, but many don’t truly appreciate how big. 

It’s important to put things into a context that people can readily appreciate.  Let’s say government in 12 years in power has accumulated $850 million in debt (not entirely sure what the actual number is).  Equate that to affordable homes at $500k apiece by taking a clipart picture of a home like the one below and put $500k in place of the “For sale”.

Real Estate Clip Art House 1 Royalty Free Stock PhotographyThen show what $850 million worth of affordable homes looks like by drawing out 1700 of them below the larger home image.  Suggest this is how many affordable homes we could have bought with what we’ve already spent in debt and ask how many affordable homes we’ve actually gotten?

There’s value in simplifying a message so that it can be consumed as fast and as easily as possible.    It means people will get it.  Unfortunately if you don’t, there will be a lot of people left scratching their heads wondering what you were trying to say.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by . Bookmark the permalink.

6
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
6 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
rummyDenisBeverley Connell Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Beverley Connell
Guest
Beverley Connell

very well illustrated…..it’s a pity the BDA don’t have someone of your talent in their PR/marketing dept

rummy
Guest
rummy

$850 million in dept and $500, 000 homes are apples and oranges. The debt and affordable housing are two seperate issues. They can be related but your just slinging mud once again at the BDA

Denis
Guest

Clearly you’re right rummy. Why should I ever question BDA’s approach? Instead I should drop everything, say only good things and become a card carrying yes man.

rummy
Guest
rummy

I’m not right Denis. Those are my opinions and may vary and differ from yours. You don’t have to “drop everything”. I imagine you feel the frustration as well as others but your background in numbers is clouding it. As for “card carrying” that means nothing to me. Maybe too you. I carried the UBP card and the PLP card but I was never a “yes man”. And to this date I still have back stabbing via the net by many in high UBP positions who work and do research for Government under the PLP umbrella. As for the PLP,… Read more »

Denis
Guest

Rummy, My frustration is not getting constructive feedback. I thrive on feedback because I want to improve. However often times you douse your feedback in riddles to which only you know the meaning and thus I have no clue what you’re saying. Feel welcome to criticize me, hell, I want more criticism and feel I don’t get enough. However, make it in means that I can understand and appreciate the point your making along with a suggestion for how I can improve. Accusing me of slinging mud without any examples isn’t very illustrative. Tear my writing apart like I do… Read more »

rummy
Guest
rummy

Your basically frustrated as you have just said. “I want to improve”. No need. You already do a good job but the “frustraion” part takes over because youy think you have to prove your knowledge and feelings. Your wrong and that is why the local blogs and forums are filled with the same 9 people who know everything about everything yet they hide in a closet with their friends and actually believe that they have the power. Bullshit. Thats why their investments et al are not where some may expect. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes. I make them all the… Read more »