Project “Binders,” or “Folders”
How often have you wished you had parceled all your research, because now comes a meeting, maybe with a Committee of a government, or a Representative, or a Senator, even a Governor, or a Premier’s office. Or a Member of Council, a Mayor’s office, a Selectman, etc. Whatever the meeting, you will sometimes or often wish you had a “package.” Something that you could place in the hands of the attendees, be it one or many. Something that captures your research, and the main points you need to deliver. More than the one pager you may be used to! (One-pagers are wonderful, too, in certain circumstances!)
More and more, NA-PAW and others, are discovering the power of the yes, paper, hard copy folder, brochure, or Binder.
Some of the recipients of our “packaged materials”: The former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, now assigned to the Auditor General’s office, a presentation and binder report for the consideration of Bill 34, Ontario, Repeal of the Green Energy Act, colorful packages by a group from Vermont explaining the harm of wind turbines to the ridges, and unique wildlife. These are just a few examples and may inspire you to use some of the contents, or to create your own.
- Handing members you are addressing a thumb drive, we note, often misses the mark. Follow up to see if contents have been reviewed are almost 99%, in our experience, negative. The same goes for expensive CD movies, and DVD stored information. No matter how wonderful the contents, they may NEVER be seen. Hence, they will have ZERO IMPACT. A binder that sits on desks, often for months, we hear, gets viewed even by other staffers in the area, and certainly demands a glance, because it is heavy, in full view, and THERE.
- A hard copy binder, tabulated and organized, shows the recipient immediately what the issues are, how to locate quickly the key points, and how to USE links that are highlighted.
- A hard copy binder is impressive! Shows you have done your work, and the recipient again does not have to use the internet in a laborious way to sift through sometimes hundreds of sites, to glean what they can QUICKLY grasp from YOUR research. Providing this accessibility to information THEY NEED, is showing respect for their time, and their position, whatever it is. It also gives YOU credibility.
- A binder can be as diverse or as singular of purpose as you choose. CHOOSE YOUR TOPICS, tabulate them, use photos or diagrams, and the issues really POP OPEN. We have seen this several times, and have it reported to us, that presenters have been favored and respected for having organized print materials.
- Tip: a cover page is useful and attracts attention. Don’t put too much on this page: main topic, an image, and perhaps who presenting to whom. If there is a Committee Leader, or organizer of the meeting, you might give a nod of respect on the cover page to that person.
- Share the costs! If you have a small group, printing and collating and binding can be easily affordable. YOU WILL NEVER REGRET THIS. Some binders are useful for YEARS later, because politicians are not always in the same seat, and the information is muchly the same. Change the cover page, update some materials and on you go! (For those who decry using paper, there are times when the longevity of a paper binder outlasts the chemicals used in production of the computer drives and chips and the thumb drives, easily lost and stuck in drawers, never to be viewed, despite the long hours you have put into their production.)
GOOD LUCK with your binder, folder presentations. Please share with us. We will post and share obviously with others. Spread the information and the hard work!