Does A Picture Tell A Thousand Words?
12 June 2001 at 1:06 pm
So the old adage goes! But when the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation in Melbourne wanted to revamp its bequest brochure for an upcoming campaign the question was what photographs would be most effective?
Tony Ayerbe from the Foundation says he wanted to use photos that trigger a response that is sympathetic, caring and would make people want to help that child and the Foundation’s cause by including RCH in their will.
Ayerbe says the decision was made to test the waters first and carry out a survey to find the most effective pictures for the brochure.
To do this Ayerbe took a series of photographs and then had each photograph rated and commented on by a range of people.
He says initially the target audience was women 45 years and over because current statistics show these women make most family decisions concerning donations and wills etc. But it was also decided to have a secondary target group to cover a wider audience.
Twenty-four photos were shown to a range of people, both male and female, in various age groups as well as married and single people. They were asked to rate the pictures according to the emotional effect and then comment on other aspects such as the impact of black and white versus colour.
For Tony Ayerbe the outcome of his survey turned up an “unexpected result”.
Ayerbe says he expected the survey to show people preferred photos of happy, healthy kids.
In fact that the results showed most people preferred to see children who were obviously ill but not too traumatised.
He says kids that were quiet, peaceful, often asleep but still obviously ill, seemed to get the greatest reaction.
But he says there was a cut off point with illness.
He found that extremely ill or traumatised children, although they were viewed with pity did not get the emotional reaction he was looking for.
Ultimately Tony Ayerbe says the final decision on photographs required a balance; not all the photos in the new brochure could be the same.
The final mix includes ill children at peace, or quiet and others of children who are ill but look happy.
The new Royal Children’s Hospital bequest brochure will be printed in time to coincide with a major advertising feature on wills and bequesting being run in the Herald Sun Newspaper in conjunction with Pro Bono Australia in Victoria on July 4th.
What’s you experience of using photographs to attract donations? Why not share your experience by joining our Forum on the pro Bono Australia web site at probonoaustralia.com.au.