Information graphics, more commonly known as infographics, have been around since cavemen decided to paint on their walls. Since then, the art of relaying information in a visually appealing way has taken many forms including maps, bar charts and pictographs and have been utilized by all forms of media channels. This map of London’s underground rail system is just one example of how we use infographics in everyday life.
Now with the availability of Adobe and other creative design software, web-based infographics are a viable communications tool for companies wishing to convey information to key target audiences. Companies successfully using infographics as a communications tool, like REI, have found the balance between data and design.
As someone who studied design alongside public relations in college, I’ve compiled three key takeaways for companies researching the use of infographics in their communications plans:
1. Have Something (Worthwhile) to Say
The data and research behind infographics is what drives its ultimate success. Viewers don’t want to read about statistics that are years old and irrelevant. The more recent, fresh and timely the statistics, the better.
Remember to reference where the research originated.
2. Make it Visual
The font, color palette and graphics bring the above statistics to life. An easy-to-follow format is a must; for example, GOOD’s “The Recycle Chronicles” infographic shown below includes headlines, subheadlines, text and graphics that allow viewers to follow the data from the beginning of the graphic all the way to the end without clutter or confusion. A good creative team will be able to build a visual, but a great team will be able to tell a story with the information they’ve been handed.
3. Pass it On
Once the final infographic is approved internally, post it to the company website – and all company social media channels. Allow viewers to repost on Pinterest, Tumblr and blogs. Depending on the content, account teams may want to pitch to target media outlets.
Lastly, encourage the involved teams to enter the infographic for design awards and recognition. The more buzz created around a quality end-product, the more attention the brand/company should receive.