Logorrhea

12 May

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Here’s a plot idea for an episode of the Samaritans, a mockumentary from Kenya on the development sector.

Scene 1       A project on improved nutrition for infants kicks off in a remote village in India. The project has a large international donor, a major Indian NGO that has been awarded the project, and four organisations working in the village with whom the NGO partners to implement the project.

Each of the names involved has a specific – and large – role to play. The donor brings in the money; the large Indian NGO designs the project; and each of the four organisations on the field brings in a certain specialized knowhow. The project is kicked off with much fanfare and also gets its own brandname (in the local language).

Scene 2        In comes a communications agency, entrusted with designing communications material for the project. “We want to use the brochure to talk to donors about supporting the next phase of the project. Above all, we want to build the brand of the project,” the agency is told.

On every piece of communication, the agency is told, there need to be seven logos. The donor’s, the major Indian NGO’s, the four implementing partners’ and the project brand name. The consortium is firm that every partner who has contributed must have representation – and the representation must be in the form of the logo. Hit by this sudden onset of logorrhea, the agency throws up its hands.

Scene 3                       The consortium decides to design its own material. On the day of a major event, the event banner is unfurled, every foot of the flex taken up by a logo. The project brandname is buried in this sea of logos. Each partner decides to bring their own banner as well, just to make sure that their name doesn’t get missed out. The final photo that graces the cover of the annual report: A child beams up from his bowl of khichri, surrounded by seven banners and an eighth with seven logos and some text that no one can read.

 

In psychology, logorrhea is a communication disorder, sometimes classified as a mental illness, resulting in excessive wordiness and sometimes incoherent talkativeness (Source: Wikipedia). While that sounds like a general condition afflicting a majority of the communications NGOs put out, we’re using the word to describe this magnificent obsession that NGOs have with logos. Soon, in the game of portioning out credit, we will all stop making sense to the very people to whom we must clearly communicate – our donors.

So, what would you do if you were faced with a case like the one outlined above?

We have a recommended solution (we always do) – but we’d like to hear your thoughts first. Write in with your solution within 48 hours, because the nail-biting climax will be unveiled this Friday. Write in to getintouch@barapani.com 

Keep Calm poster from the web, via Creative Roots.

 

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One Response to “Logorrhea”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Drowning in a sea of logos? | No Small Change - August 7, 2014

    […] In our last post, we asked you what you would do if you faced a case of Logorrhea. […]

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