9 Ways That PR Pros Can Capitalize on Infographics

9 Ways That PR Pros Can Capitalize on Infographics

Original post by Bill Miltenberg via PR NEWS 

Karl Gude, editor-in-residence, Michigan State University School of Journalism, is a fan of showing, not telling. Gude, who was the director of information graphics atNewsweek for 10 years, says that at their best, infographics can provide a structure for organizing, planning and studying information and revealing hidden relationships. At their worst, they are link bait.

Screen_Shot_2013-03-03_at_10.55.18_PM-300x144And while making complex infographics can take time and money to produce—and may require input from researchers sales personnel, database managers and designers—, sometimes you can draw the idea on the back of a Starbucks napkin and get by with the help of a single designer.

At PR News‘ Feb. 27 Digital PR Summit, Gude provided nine recommendations for public relations pros to capitalize on visual opportunities and create infographics—whether it’s for a press release or any other communications vehicle.

1) Show where it is: Make a map. “There’s a story in a map,” Gude said. He stressed that  a band’s cross-country tour, which is usually shown in a list of cities and dates on the back of a poster or T-shirt, is a great example of visual mapping and storytelling.

2) Compare it to something else: Side-by-side analysis can provide an audience with a engaging contrast and compare-style graphic that the eyes can scan.

3) Highlight for emphasis: Infographics can help emphasize stats or numbers, and “it doesn’t mean just making a big purple number,” Gude said. “There are elegant solutions used for emphasis.”  As anm example, Gude cherry-picked important sections of an email chain for a criminal case and highlighted certain sections.

4) Explain it with a drawing: “You may sometimes need really good designers, but sometimes you can draw the idea on a Starbucks napkin,” Gude said. After the September 11 attacks Gude quickly scrawled on a napkin the sequence of events and the destruction of the towers and the surrounding area, and the idea was developed from there



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