Vivid, Personalized Communication

What is this Tool?

  • Communication full of the vigour and freshness of immediate experience, evoking lifelike images that are heard, seen, or felt as if they were real.
  • Communication that has been custom-tailored for the person or people receiving the message.

Why Would You Use It?

  • Vivid, personalized information is more likely to be noticed, remembered and acted on.

When Would You Use It?

  • Whenever possible.

How Would You Use It?

1. Identify the key motivators and barriers for the desired activity.


Get in the Loop - Buy Recycled used a telephone survey to determine why people were not buying more recycled-content products.

When participants expressed concern to The Environment Network's home advisors about the effectiveness of the alternative cleaning products they were promoting, these concerns were addressed directly. In addition, such comments were used to identify people who might be motivated by concerns about cleanliness and hygiene.

Marley Station Mall focused on the two most common motivators for exercising - health benefits and weight control.

During Green$avers EnerGuide For Houses visits a blower door test was integrated, because air leakage was considered to be the most serious area of energy loss, and the most effective and noticeable way to improve comfort and savings on energy bills.

Tip: See also the Tools Building Motivation Over Time and Overcoming Specific Barriers.

Tip: With face-to-face approaches you can look for clues and ask questions that identify the most important motivators and barriers for each person you contact. Train your program implementers to do this.

Your Program

Please refer to the step-by-step instructions for identifying motivators and barriers in Getting Informed

Make a list. Motivators:
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2. Appeal to these motivators and show how to overcome these barriers in ways that evoke strong lifelike images.


Stockholm highlighted the reduction in congestion as a result of congestion pricing, using photographs comparing one of its most congested arterials the day before and the first day of the trial. Such a vivid example helped negate the opposition and turn opinion in favor of the charges.

Smart Trips Welcome asked new residents to order from a variety of incentives and free support materials, which were then packaged in tote bags and delivered to their homes by bicycle within two to three weeks. Follow-up phone calls and individually-tailored print communications continued building the relationship with the program over time.

Love to Ride gathered information from participants when they registered on its website, to understand where they were on their journey of change and what specific barriers they had. By targeting information and tools specific to each user, people were moved along a personal journey of change.

BRIDGE's Radio Diaries campaign featured a variety of voices of men and women, from different socioeconomic, religious and age groups. The diarists were people who knew their status and were willing and able to talk about their situations honestly, openly and with genuine emotion.

Tip: Use images that are as close as possible to the experience of the person or people with whom you are communicating.

Tip: If you are talking about something that is intangible, make it more tangi-ble. If the person does not have much experience with it, relate it to something with which they have more experience.

Tip: Use as many senses as you can since some people are more auditory, others more visual, others more kinesthetic.

Tip: Make comparisons with well- known landmarks.

See also the Tool School Programs that Involve the Family.

Tip: Click on an image to enlarge it. Click your back button to return to this page.
Get In the Loop image
Cover of the Shade Trees for Guelph brochure.

Your Program

For each of the motivators and barriers listed in step 1, how might you do the following?

Link to activities people are already doing:
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Describe the full effect of combining many small, contributing factors:
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Use bar or pie charts to illustrate statistics and other numbers and make the charts "come alive" by using vivid icons as labels:
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use descriptions to illustrate statistics and other numbers:
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