Are infographics the ‘cure for the common press release’?

You’re seeing them everywhere these days. (Just glance at PR Daily and other news and blog sites.) What do they mean for the PR industry?


Infographics are taking the Web by storm.

Not the infographics pioneered by USA Today to make the news more exciting for people who don’t like to read, but rather the so-long-you-need-to-scroll and so-darn-good-you-have-to-read-and-share kind.

Infographics are out of control—everyone is using them. That usually means they work great. Are infographics link-bait? Do they get shared a lot? Absolutely. So how can you use infographics as a weapon in your PR arsenal?

Here are a few infographics I like, along with some suggestions for how you can use this device to get your message out.

Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism

No list of PR-related infographics is complete without a reference to Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism, so let’s start there. You’ve probably seen this a hundred times, but it’s worth mentioning because it illustrates the true power and viral nature of infographics. (It was also a pioneering move when it came out, because infographics weren’t as common as far as viral content goes.) Oh, and this infographic makes money. Get yours here.

Public relations content survey results

What a great way to illustrate the results of a survey. Sure, you could package all your stats in a text-heavy white paper or a fancy PowerPoint presentation, but why not take the best stuff and make it pretty? Here’s a great example from WalkerSands Communications; it repackaged PR Newswire stats from a study:

A process is better illustrated with a picture

You could tell people about your processes and make them read a ton of content, or you could show them with a picture. People process information differently. Communicating visually ensures that you deliver your message precisely as you intended. This is a great example of one from Pace Communications. I also really like that Pace offers an embed code for the graphic on this site, making it easy for people to share the graphic.

The Custom Content Development Process

Foursquare’s 2010 check-in

Write and send a press release bragging about how much you’ve grown in a year, and you’re probably not going to get a lot of pickup. Of course, if you’re at Foursquare, the media would probably write about it either way, but I’ll bet Foursquare got more than twice the press with this infographic than if it had sent a press release. And don’t forget that making people laugh is part of what makes stuff spread online. My favorite stat on this chart is the “Wendys who checked-in at Wendy’s.” Brilliant.

(Click here for a larger version.)

Make boring stuff exciting with infographics

The growth of global Internet traffic might not be too exciting to most of you, but this infographic from Mashable (designed by @nick_sigler) really jazzes things up. Think of the information you could communicate more effectively with infographics.

Is the infographic the cure for the press release?

When you see infographics like this, you really have to wonder: Is the infographic the new way to get your message out? I’ll bet the deliverability and open rates would be much better on a graphic like this than on a press release.

You know what I’d like to see? An infographic about the use of infographics in communications. (If you create one, send it to me.)

All you really need to launch an infographic assault is an interesting idea, a bunch of stats, and a talented graphic designer. Finding that designer is the most challenging part. My guess is that design determines 85 percent of the success of an infographic.

Want to read more about infographics? Check out these resources:

As PR Continues to Become More Digital, Enter the Infographic!
• Daily Infographic – infographics are so hot, there’s a blog dedicated to a new infographic each day (awesome)
How to Use Infographics for SEO & Linkbait
5 Tools to Help You Create Your Own Infographics

A version of this story first appeared on the blog Journalistics.

(Image via)

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