|FEBRUARY 4, 2012 --
“As far as the eye can see.” “I get the picture.” “A picture is worth a thousand words.” “My view on the subject is…”
Visual communication is a part of our everyday lives. Without even realizing it we are affected by what we see - not just from photos, television and videos but also from signage, posters and flyers, brochures, websites and the like. The average person doesn’t give it much thought. Visual communications are present in everything we do and are taken for granted.
PR Professional Guy Downes reports that studies show 65% of people are visual learners. This means that nearly 2/3rds of us use pictures and visuals to help us solve problems, think about subjects before us, process information quicker, and most importantly, communicate effectively and efficiently. 3M Research states that people process visuals 66,000 times faster than they process text. Add color to the visuals and learning accelerates to 78%.*
When combining words and images, visual communications tell a story to the audience. That story might be a Grange member receiving their 65-year membership seal or the Grange presenting dictionaries to local third-graders. The story could even be conveying the benefits of being a Grange member to prospective members. Photos and graphics not only inform and engage the public, but they also entertain.
According to Guy Downes, “Stories bind us, build understanding, assign meaning, forge relationships and share our heritage as well as offer insight into our future. Great stories ignite the imagination – a deluge of facts and data do not. And pictures can play a powerful role within this narrative and by bringing words to life.”
Armed with this information, how can my Grange take advantage of visual communications?
Take photos. Lots of photos. Bring a digital camera to every Grange meeting and event, then share the photos with your members. Hang the photos on a bulletin board in your hall. Make a Grange Scrapbook and bring it to your meetings to share with your members and visitors. Post the photos on your Grange’s Facebook Page and website, and send them to the CT State Grange website to be added into the Virtual Scrapbook. Send the photos to the CT Granger for publication. E-mail the best of the photos and a well-written caption to your local newspapers. Create a poster using the photos to promote upcoming Grange events. Integrate the photos into a presentation. Print out the photos for a Grange display that can be used in the local library, at a local Agricultural Fair, or even at a trade show or Chamber of Commerce meeting. Enter the photos in the Lecturer’s Photo Contest or exhibit them at your local Ag Fair.
Tell your Grange story with visuals, capture and retain the public’s attention, and reap the benefits.
* Embry, David, “The Persuasive Properties of Color”, Marketing Communications, October 1984.