Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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May 1, 2012

Infographics: Helpful or hurtful for PR professionals?

Filed under: Communications,Public Relations,social media — Karen @ 12:24 pm

There has been a consistent discussion among public relations professionals – both in academia and in practice – about the use of info graphics.  Infographics are graphic representations that showcase data, evidence, and information in a visual manner. Many businesses have created these on various topics such as Mashable, JESS3, and Edelman to name a few.  There are also some sites like Visual.ly and Cool Inforgraphics that serve as a good database with various info graphics on a range of topics, including those focusing on PR related issues. In addition, these info graphics can not only be graphics, but also be presented in animation.

I am actually a fan of infographics that are not only visually appealing, but also have strong data and insights to share with the rest of the community.  In addition, there are always the issue of looking at the sources when it comes to the data – what are the references being used?  Who is being cited?  How credible is the information being presented?  All of these points are things to consider for public relations professionals to determine if they will be using these in their campaigns, press releases, or showcase them to their clients.  Here is a good blog post from Journalistics that makes the case for how info graphics can be beneficial for public relations.

So, what are some things to keep in mind when it comes to using info graphics in PR?  Here are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Make sure the info graphic has a purpose:  Sound information and concise facts are best to present to audiences.
  • Be creative in use of graphics and format:  The key is to present the information in a unique yet appealing manner.
  • Educate self on graphic design techniques related to info graphics:  We have to be trained to be one with graphic design when it comes to our brochures, fliers, and even websites.  We have to understand the principles related to info graphics as well.

In summary, we are becoming a visual community and society, so we have to continue to be aware of these visual trends and features. However, there is going to be a time and place for using info graphics – so we have to evaluate each situation, client, and project to determine if these will be appropriate to use.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Karen 

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