August 17, 2011
By The Seashore
How do you creatively take a topic that is pretty dry and un-sexy and make it
fresh and interesting? That was
Lynda Decker's dilemma when she was
asked to design the annual report for natural gas provider New Jersey Resources.
The gas company prides itself on being environmentally friendly, but "Green" and
"Greening" have been so overdone it would be hard to come up with something
different. Also, natural gas doesn't initially lend itself to something you
really want to read about. Putting on her metaphor wizard's cap, Lynda solved
"We decided to play off New Jersey's well known shoreline and created a
beautiful teal blue brochure that metaphorically illustrated the message New
Jersey Resources wanted to communicate. The combination of message with creative
imagery really delighted our client."
When I saw what Lynda did, I knew I wanted to share her work with you. Let her
ideas inspire you in your presentations.
Get Their Attention
Lynda captured the reader's interest immediately right on the cover. Above a
picture of a little girl with a pail and shovel walking along the beach is the
title of the annual report: Conserve to Preserve: The Wave of the Future.
Opening line: "Like the perpetual motion of the ocean tides that stretch
along the coastal communities of our service territory, change is constant. It
happens every moment of every day. Sometimes it happens in waves. Other times
change happens in ripples, so slowly and incrementally that it is hardly noticed
at all. How we rise to the challenges created by change separates the great from
the good and the truly accomplished from the merely acceptable. It's what makes
an effective company an enduring one that will stand the test of time." It
flows into, "Fiscal 2008 was a year of immense change and daunting challenges
for our country..." (Theme continued)
The photo spreads throughout the rest of the report were all used metaphorically
to reinforce the content in each section:
Title: Preserving Our Future. Image: A boy building a big sandcastle.
Title: Leading the Way. Image: Footsteps walking along the water's
Title: Growing Our Business. Image: The picture atop this article.
Title: Delivering Reliability. Image: A dad tossing and catching his
son in the air on the beach.
Title: Meeting New Challenges. Image: A person in a small bright yellow
boat riding a huge beautiful blue wave.
Title: Achieving Results. Image: A fisherman with a huge catch.
Close With the Right Tone
No title, just the closing page. Image: A lighthouse with a bright beacon
showing the way.
A not so interesting industry made beautiful and appealing with a message that
engages throughout because of the complementary imagery.
Think how you bring your presentations alive and make them memorable with
imagery, as Lynda did, to get the results you want with your clients.
Make what you say pay - with metaphors.
Wow! we had more than 30 people attend. The program was a great
success for all concerned. There will be another in the Fall. Stay tuned for
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