The Do’s and Don’ts of Infographics


How do you make your press release stand out, and make the headlines easier to digest? Infographics are not new, but they are a fresh and interesting device which can make a big impact.

Journalists are literally inundated with polls and surveys. Finding a way to get your poll noticed is becoming harder and harder. Of course, nothing beats creating an idea that resonates and captures attention than a well executed poll, with clear and well thought out headlines. But that in itself will not guarantee coverage.

Press releases need to be clear and written in an engaging style. But there is another visual device to be considered – Infographics. The term is not new. It means graphic or visual representation of data, information or knowledge. They range from very complex disgrams, to simplified pictures. With new digital publishing formats, the internet and the emergence of the Ipads and tablet computers as an alternative publishing channel, Infographics are becoming increasingly used. Of course, Infographics also appear in traditional print media as well as animated or interactively in digital formats.

How common are Infographics in press releases? At the moment, most press releases summarising survey results appear in traditional forms – mostly text. But more press releases are seeking to use interesting graphics to support the story. The challenge for most PR execs is that while they know how to write a distinctive press release, they are probably not very good graphic designers. The second challenge is that to create an Infographic it is still necessary to understand the data, and pull out the key themes of the narrative. The best Infographics we have seen (such as award winning entries in the Times ipad edition) create a visual which enhances the overall story, and highlights critical data in a way that is immediate and is clearer to digest than a line or two of text.

Infographics are another tool which should be considered. In truth, they should complement a text driven press release and not replace them. In our view, the key elements of the press release should be compiled in the usual way; at that point, the addition of an Infographic should be considered. What does not work is to experiment with the graphics before the narrative has been established.

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I wanted to let you know that I compiled the results of the cars survey for the following countries (Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia & Italy – Canada is just starting their outreach now), and we so far have had 524 stories published on the survey, with a total reach of 350,000,000. Pretty great results!

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