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Working in the voluntary sector
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6.1 Style and image

The overall style and layout of any poster or message is what readers notice first. If it is attractive and interesting, they are more likely to read what you have to say. Space, attractive typography, photographs and illustrations all contribute to the attractiveness and effectiveness. Images can be used to attract attention, to add human interest and to reinforce and highlight a particular message. In addition, pictures and illustrations can be used to break up text that might otherwise look boring. Using a consistent style will also make it easier for people to recognise your organisation’s communications as part of its overall image or branding.

However, image is not just confined to your organisation’s ‘personality’ in print or on the web. Professionalism can be communicated in a number of ways. A news release, a leaflet or an email needs to be drafted and redrafted, not rushed off at the last minute. And if you are communicating face to face or by phone, you need to work out your arguments precisely and think about what the other person may say in return – before you start.

These are some of the things you can do to get an audience’s attention and interest, and persuade them to take action.