This post is a revamped version of a previous post entitled “TOW #11: Infographics.”

According to the sixth edition of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox, infographics are “computer-generated artwork used to display statistics in the form of tables and charts.”

A blog post entitled “Are Infographics the New Slide Shows?” by Kyle Austin (which can be found at the RaceTalkBlog) reports that “infographics are quickly becoming a media and public relations industry buzz word / topic. Why you ask? Two major reasons. As corporations continue to shift into their role as media companies and content curators, they’re realizing the opportunity to package interesting data to the media and consumers in new ways. More importantly, media organizations and editors are now focusing on finding new ways to engage their readership. Infographics happen to solve both of these problems by packaging data in a way that makes it both engaging and easy to read.”

Infographics provide visual appeal to an article and can portray the main point of the content. The eyes of readers are drawn to images and graphics and hopefully those depictions will express the message that writers are trying to communicate.

For more information about infographics, watch a video from The New York Times and Gestalten TV.

Angela Alcorn composed a list of “10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics” on MakeUseOf’s website that lists the following infographics sources:

  1. Stat Planet
  2. Hohli
  3. Creately
  4. New York Times’ Visualization Lab
  5. Many Eyes
  6. Google Public Data
  7. Wordle
  8. Tableau
  9. Gapminder
  10. Inkscape

Using Wordle, I entered the URL for my blog to create the following infographic using words from my posts:

“Are infographics the ‘cure for the common press release’?” by Jeremy Porter says the following about infographics:

“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?

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.

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.

Make boring stuff exciting with infographics

The growth of global Internet traffic might not be too exciting to most of you…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.”

In her post entitled “As PR Continues to Become More Digital, Enter the Infographic,” Melissa Chanslor identifies “three primary opportunities with infographics”:

  • “Creating your own infographic — Every company is now a media company and no longer needs to rely on traditional PR pitches to broadcast their stories and news. Similar to the brand journalism opportunity, brands can create their own infographics and leverage owned platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and their blog, and socially via RSS, aggregators and directories like and Twitter handles that share infographics. Additionally, infographics can be pitched to earned media.
  • Pitching reporters to create an infographic based on your content — If a story is data rich, consider pitching it to an outlet to develop its own infographic.
  • Infographics go viral – Beyond brands and reporters, infographics are designed to be shared. When was the last time you saw a tweet about “check out this press release?” But a tweet along the lines of “RT @Mashable Global Internet Traffic Expected to Quadruple by 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]” is much more “sharable.” In fact Mashable’s blog post about Cisco’s Visual Networking Index that included the below infographic was shared more than 8,000 times.”

Richard Edelman expounded on the subject in a post entitled “Visualizing Information”:

“Infographics make stories more ‘findable’ and sharable. Infographics tend to generate conversation and the best ones get retweeted and Liked. The inclusion of infographics and other kinds of visual content boost search engine results for a story.”

What are some examples of infographics that you’ve found effective? Have you created your own infographics? How do you think infographics play a role in and are important to PR?


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