An honest and emotional message will attract the eyes – and more

importantly, hearts – you need to keep your organisation running, in terms of volunteers, the public, and potential avenues of funding.

The thing to remember is that advertising – writing, design, printing, etc. – is a program expense. It is not overhead.

Build a little into each budget, watch each project grow, and add more money to the bottom line over time. That will directly equate to better programs, better access to funding, better public perception, and at the core of it, better service to the people you are there to represent.

Posters are easy. We all make them because they are cheap, someone on the board has a nephew who has a copy of Photoshop, and they are disposable.

Most folks jam every point from the minutes of the last board meeting on there, staple them up around downtown, and wait for them to get covered up by whatever band is playing next week. Disposable.

The difference is advertising – not necessarily more, but better. Your message will reach your audience if it is carefully crafted. Thoughtful and creative is more effective than shouting loudly.

Good advertising gets good response. That’s why advertising shops, and people like me exist.

“Yes, but it’s expensive,” you say.

And it can be.

“Yes, but who has the time?” you’ll ask. Not you, beleaguered sole staff member. “Yes, but it’s hard to explain our needs to an agency that has far more lucrative projects on the go, and even though we think they want to help, with our budget, they don’t have the time to spend to really get us.”

But if you can find someone who will take the time to understand what you are doing, they will be able to be objective, look at it with a little distance, and be able to distill the important message that you know, but are too close to see.

As my mother would say, “No need to shout.”