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Dj Daveince's Blog

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5 is the saddest number…

Saddest Number mail shot

Picked up a copy of the Big Issue for the first time in ages yesterday. Don’t know why I don’t buy it more often to be honest – it usually has more to say for itself than most newspapers…

Inside I found perhaps the bulkiest charity insert I’ve ever received. No less than 5 pieces of paper (including 2 envelopes) were included. The message on the first envelope was compelling enough to make me open it – though since I’m in the business professional curiosity might have got the better of me – and start to wade through the content. I found the letter from the Director General of Help the Aged (DG? Really? I thought only the BBC had one of those) which told me that I had ‘probably already gathered that the letter was about loneliness’.

Actually I hadn’t because there was so much to wade through that I’d missed the central piece – a Christmas card featuring a picture of a Christmas tree with only one bauble on it. Actually a really nice bit of creative that has unfortunately been lost in a sea of paper.

Now, I’m all for detail and transparency and I appreciate that not every campaign can be summed up in a few words but this all seemed a bit much to me. I think people need something to concentrate on and I can’t understand why Help the Aged didn’t think to include the details in their letter in the Christmas card flyer. All this succeeded in doing was confusing me.

Also in the pack is a direct debit form and an envelope to put it in. Again, these are obviously vital but why not combine the two or (if it must be included) add them on to the letter so that there’s only two pieces of paper to deal with. Chances are people are either going to lose some vital part of the package or just give up reading (as I did) because it just looks like too much hard work.

A shame really because it’s a great charity and a great cause. The campaign website (which isn’t even mentioned in the letter and is buried on the back of the card) is a much better implementation and can be found at www.saddestnumber.org.uk

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