Best Practices for Infographics
Insights from the Media That Publish Them
A recent panel hosted by the Publicity Club of NY discussed how infographics can and should be used for communications and what you should consider before adding them to the mix. Infographics have quickly become a buzz word and part of our PR arsenal, but like any digital tool (or really, any PR tool), there are some ideas to consider when deciding if it’s something that will add value to your announcement or campaign.
My colleague Melissa Chanslor captured this sentiment in a recent post following a SXSW panel, noting that, similar to any form of content, your information needs to be solid and tell a story. This sentiment was echoed by the panelists at the Publicity Club session, which included design and interactive reps from the Huffington Post, CNNMoney, AP and Mashable. An infographic should not just be a visual representation of content in a press release – it needs to be something new or different that adds to the copy.
So what makes a great infographic? Here are a few key points to keep in mind:
- Is it a visual story? – Not every story renders well to visuals. The visual should further the story and bring new information to life. Strong, informative visuals are crucial to the understanding of complex stories, but a visual just for the sake of having one, doesn’t add value.
- Give it the “outsider check” – Could your grandmother or 10-year-old son understand this? Simple and clean infographics are best – give nuggets of information, rather than overloading it with data.
- Exclusivity – Something to factor into your outreach around an infographic – like any news story, the media prefers exclusivity. However, while two reporters being pitched the same news can differentiate their angles, infographics are more restrictive since they cannot easily be modified – making it even more crucial to have exclusive rights.
- Data quality, methodology, and source – Most media sources will want to fact check information so make sure to have your data handy. And of course, independent sources are preferred.
- Think big – Most outlets frown upon promotional content or infographics that have an agenda. A brand or company’s goal with infographics should be to be cited as the source. Consider broader industry issues, upcoming events, or timely news and think about how your data can add to that discussion.
- Consider the format– Will viewers most likely see this on a PC or mobile device? What about Pinterest? Not every format works well cross-platform. Think about your audience and test out your infographic to ensure its viewable on multiple sources.
Another consideration – many media outlets, including the ones represented at this panel, are starting to develop infographics internally. Why? For many, it’s to ensure quality data and consistent format.
This is likely to be a trend we’ll see increasingly more often with key publications. But that doesn’t mean the end of idea sharing. The panelists noted that they’re interested in ideas for infographics and partnering with companies on the development. Perhaps before the next time your company creates an infographic, think about what outlets you’d like to see it published in, and go to them first to see if there’s a way to work together on it so that both parties benefit.
Interested in learning more about infographic development or want to talk to someone about how your company can use them? Contact Text 100 Design Services for more information.