Friday, March 23, 2007

The Creative Process

Those of you who have ever heard me talk about my job know that the documentation I create is bone dry, objective stuff devoid of creative expression. For the past several years it has been my goal to remove all sense of magic from software systems. Normally, I don’t have any sense of writer’s block because the documents I need are what they are, so I just sit down and do it. Weeelllll, things didn’t go so smoothly when I sat down to write up some promo stuff. I now understand why people get paid to do these things.

To follow the model that has served me so well on the job, I asked the Shrivers for samples of what other teams have done to promote themselves and guidelines on what to put in literature that would be made available to the public. So I started toying around with website pages, a newspaper box flyer, hand-made bigger posters for the Giant that Bradley worked at and BNA’s lobby but hadn’t made much headway. Most of all I really wanted to put out doorknob hangers. I say I wanted to do this, not that I did it because I just couldn’t get jump-started. I thought it would help if I had a real piece of paper to doodle on.

OK, all I wanted was to buy some door hanger paper stock that I could put in my home printer and print out a quantity of promo pieces that I can easily distribute in my neighborhood (no newspaper boxes allowed). Bradley walked to school for 5 years, so there’s a good chance people would recognize him if I put a good quality black and white photo on a colorful door hanger. I quickly found out that this was easier said than done. I couldn’t find the doorknob hanger paper stock anywhere, even after searching all the usual suspects online (Staples, Avery, Xerox, finally reduced to Google). Finally, I found this site,

Burris Computer Forms Door Hanger
http://www.pcform.com/doorhanger.asp?gclid=CNaeoITa8YoCFQWMgAodq0nUkQ

which let me fill out a form online to request a sample packet. Suuure. I filled it out skeptically, but lo and behold 4 days later, I had a really nice set of samples in my hands. Looking at them, turning them over, putting them on my own door, the ideas started coming. How to convey a persuasive message in such a small space? I came up with these two first.

In Memory Of
Bradley Rice
-- picture ---
1986-2006
Support Team
Sarcoma 2007
Contact Info

Or, with tongue in cheek...

In Memory Of
Bradley Rice
-- picture ---
You - Tax Break
Us - Hope
Support Team
Sarcoma 2007
Contact Info

After that, it didn’t take long to create good working drafts for a press release, a longer version for a flyer, a layout for the website that includes a link to the sponsor form in .pdf format and Bradley’s story, which Brad will work on too.

Any other virtual team sarcoma folks who see some value in these, feel free to borrow them for your team. Or copywriters looking for some freelance charity work, here’s an opportunity! Drafts to be posted later…..

1 comment:

burris said...

Hi, we just wanted to thank you for posting our site on your blog. I just wanted to let your readers know we have a new website at pcforms.com where your readers can get request samples and get other information about our products.

Thank you again for your kind words.

John Amburn
Burris Computer Forms
1-800-982-3676