The uplifting and productive use of signages

MUCH has been said by anti-Epal advocates about the immoral use of signages by politicians who grab credit for public works projects funded by government.

They are correct in saying that since it is taxpayers money and not personal money spent by officials they have no right to proclaim it as their project.

This is precisely the reason why the Robredo Memo and the Santiago “anti-epal Bill limit their prohibition to this immoral use only.

Bravo! Unfortunately, overeager advocates emboldened by the reach and power of social media have gone overboard by lumping and categorizing all signages with the face and name of officials as “epal” and condemn the practice to high heavens.

But what about the productive and uplifting use of signages? As Public Information Officers (PIO), we use signages to promote government programs, to encourage compliance, to issue call-to-action challenges, to inspire, to warn, etc.

In so doing, we know as marketing professionals that impersonal signages are significantly made more effective by a credible endorser adding a human touch and authority to the message being conveyed.

Ask any advertising executive. This is basic… advertising 101, so to speak.

And since governance is a marketing game because we have to sell our programs in order for our constituents to support them through compliance and action, we have to resort to proven advertising techniques that work.

Remember, the core argument of the Department of Interior and Local Government Memo and the Senate Bill is about credit grabbing … we all agree to that … that it is immoral. But, what about warning people through bill-boards about health hazards, disasters, etc. and teaching them how to prepare against it? Is that immoral?

What about reminding them about crime and giving them emergency numbers to memorize? Is that immoral?

Or, how about congratulating residents who have excelled and bestowed great honor to the city because of their achievements? Is that immoral?

I can cite many more productive and uplifting use of signages in governance but the real message I want to convey is that – this crowd mentality is dangerous because it blurs lines of logic and reason.

This is the same group thinking that condemned Jesus and asked for the release of Barabas.

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