Packaging and Presenting a Worthy Community Program

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By Art Tibaldo

Consumer Atbp.

Monday, June 9, 2014

ONE need not have to hire an expert or a third party to undertake the documentation, packaging and presentation of a particular program if members involved knows the basic requirements and procedures. I was requested to give a lecture on the packaging and styling of documents of the Baguio City Nutrition Council needed or required by selection bodies and awards committees. I know for a fact that it’s the packaging and presentation of necessary documents that matters most to the selection committee as they may not have the luxury of time to really inspect and scrutinize a provincial or municipal activity.

I am not really an expert on the given topic even if I helped package the documents needed by Baguio when the city bade for the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City from 1994 to 1996 when it bagged the Hall of Fame Award. Back then, it was the committee under the Department of Interior and Local Government that tasked regional and national selection committee who went to the countryside and experienced the rigors of going to all the municipalities, rivers and even inland lakes for validity of documents. I was even tasked by the body, which I will not mention to edit the footage that they took.

In that editing task, I had a real problem sanitizing and producing a video segment as the raw materials given me contradicts the real essence of the environmental preservation program which was Lake Bulalakaw which is located somewhere along the slope of Mt. Pulag of Benguet. I mentioned in my e-mailed lecture outline that in promoting a program, popular tools used in communication can be tapped like print, radio, television and the new media. But, in all of the aforementioned, it is always best to be clear with what you are saying. To me, a presentation material must attract attention from the very start. If one passes by a news stand, most likely, that person glances for a very short time at the news headlines or front page photos until he or she sees what publication carried it. In Headlining, the advocates can use key messages such as: “Solving Baguio’s Malnutrition is a Shared Responsibility”, “Baguio’s Nutrition Program Exceeds 2013 Target” or “2013 Malnutrition in the City Reduced”.


In Heralding, the promoters must answers who says what, for whom and why and I gave the examples; “The Baguio Nutrition Council seeks parent’s support in drive against malnutrition”, “Baguio LGU is gearing for a zero malnutrition rate by 2016” and “Backyard gardening can still help in city’s nutrition program-BNC”.

Simplicity has its total beauty as it does not complicate matters. I shall be telling the participants to the seminar to simplify their messages for clarity. There’s a general rule called KISS for Keep it simple and short or Keep it simple stupid! Use layman’s term and let go of goobledegooks such as……..”the BNC’s technical working group endeavors to lower the rate of malnutrition in the city by at least 15 percent in next school year”. Avoid words such as key result area as KRA is used mainly for planning by government bureaucrats. Be very careful in using quotes or biblical passages as these may not always connect well with the program and will only add up to “kitch” or a French term for sophisticated nonsense.

For visual aide and other communication tools, it is important not let the presentation tools decide how you or anyone present your program. Be definite like a salesman selling a product and that the ultimate goal is to sell and the client buy. Nowadays, we are getting accustomed with more visual information hence the use of selective words can be juxtaposed to stress an important point or element of the product or activity.

The presenter must likewise look at the presentation material as if he or she is part of the audience. Whoever does the presentation can trivialize the highlights or main topic and dwell on explaining how they or their organization managed to reach their goal and reached a level of success despite the odds. Well, sounds old fashioned but there's always the glamour of “rags to riches” stories as undertaken or likened to a program.

Whoever would be doing the actual presentation, you can mention names of persons actively involved in a program but a repetitious mention of a singular person would make listeners suspect that you are highlighting a person’s accomplishment rather than a program’s activities. Same goes to politicians highlighted in the program. Avoid showing too much “firing squad” pictures of officers and members of an organization who are posing for the camera with a smile. An action photo or candid shot of an event can better explain an activity rather than a “three men and a piece of paper” shot. In addition, here are things that an organization can include and in the case of the BNC, they can include; one page historical background of BNC, one page organizational chart showing partner agencies involved, six pages of pictorial album showing chronological events from past to present, one CD showing video clips and photo documentation and lastly a summary or list of BNC members with e-mail addresses and office telephone numbers.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 10, 2014.


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