Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Friday, 2nd November, 2007
NOW DON'T GET ME WRONG, I like our old leaflet (right), but our revamped geoconservation group needs a revamped leaflet. The old version, published in 1995 when we launched the original RIGS (Regionally Important Geological Sites) group, was based on my illustrations for Yorkshire Rock, a journey through time.
I'm drawn to all things geological, so I would certainly have picked up the old version, but now that we're a fully fledged Geology Trust we need to reach a wider audience. We've completed our initial work of designating, describing and notifying the planning authorities about geological sites in the county, but now we need to think about the management and interpretation of the sites how we can encourage their use for education and recreation.
I've been reading some tips on writing publicity material in the printing.com catalogue (available online as a PDF, see page 54). To attract the reader's attention, they suggest that you should try and come up with an exciting headline. 'West Yorkshire Rock & Fossil Sites' might be a fair description of the contents our leaflet but we should try intrigue the reader; 'Either reveal or conceal a common interest', they suggest, so how about 'Have you ever wondered what's going on beneath your feet?'
I think my rough for the new leaflet, which features people as much as it
does geology, would be more likely to be picked up by
ramblers and families looking for ideas for a day out. And hopefully those
of us who are already hooked on local geology would also pick it up.
Printing.com suggest that you remember the initials A.I.D.A., a mnemonic for:
Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
and, having attracted the reader's attention, they advise against simply listing the features that you're offering, which might seem like the most informative way to fit your message into the available space. They point out that 'people buy benefits, not features'.
While leaflet number one is crammed with rocks and fossils, I don't think it ever succeeded in attracting any new members because it didn't really explain how the group was going to help the reader take their interests any further.
Now we've embarked on an ambitious geodiversity action plan and we're organising events throughout the county. So there are lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy the rocky side of the county, and to get involved with geoconservation work.
For instance, I'm leading a building stones walk on Sunday . . .