Visual Communication Planning: Making It Poetic

NOTHING makes you see it better than a picture. It is said a picture speaks a thousand words. It’s simple really. A picture has a certainly immediacy to it, an appeal that strikes the senses whether you like it or not. Visuals  immensely aid the communication process from advertising, marketing to branding. But can visuals be used in establishing a communication strategy and activities. Certainly. According to consultant Tony Buzan, the brain thinks organically in terms of an idea and associations. Using visuals in the planning process can help to leverage this innate brain capacity.

First, it takes understanding the stakes at hand, i.e., making it all poetry, so to speak. Ultimately, the purpose of communication planning and strategizing is to build a visual, concept or idea that is clear, consistent, and vivid enough to influence a change process of some sort. Visual communication planning simply taps into the power of recursive thinking to unlock the full potential of the communication process.  It involves gathering and compiling visual explanations and illustrations of both the process and intended outputs of each stage of the communication flow. This needs evidence and practicality.

Simply put, it should culminate in a visual discourse that should have the same immediate impact on the senses as much as a picture. A successfully executed visual communication plan must not only speak a thousand words, the thousand words it speaks must be coherent and in line with the overall objectives of a given project or institution. The visuals should be able to be subjected to a monitoring and evaluation process that guarantees that energies invested in the communicative process can lead to anticipated results.  The visuals must therefore support the communicative goals otherwise the entire exercise will be in vain. Continue reading

Advertisements

101 for Campaigning for Human Rights in Africa

WHAT does it mean to campaign for internationally recognized human rights in sub Saharan which is chock-filled with rampant human violations? Does it mean that because governments in the region violate human rights willy-nilly, there should be no concerted effort to engage in a campaign for their recognition.

It is not enough to feel outrage when we learn of the number of children exploited sexually or at work, of refugees or of those suffering from hunger. We must react, each one of us to the best of our abilities. It is not just a matter of looking at what government is doing – Federico Mayor, former UNESCO Director-General

Human rights are often misunderstood and can sometimes be seen as abstract ideals with not much practical relevance for real people. And there is no doubt that the rampant abuse of human rights in Africa only serves to worsen the inequalities and vulnerabilities of individuals and communities.

The promotion of social justice and the culture of peace in Africa is of paramount importance but doing the job can be quite a risky business. And, of course, not so many people are willing to put their lives on the line. It’s understandable.

There are many stories of people who have disappeared in the night never to be seen again, of daylight murders, of state impunity that fill the majority of the citizens of the continent with terror. Continue reading