Infographics: Getting Your Message Across With Pizzazz

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SoapBox Rants

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

Looking for some interesting and non-boring ways to get your message across? Then you should try infographics. Maybe you’ve never heard of them before, but more likely than not you’ve seen them. They’re popping up all over the place and getting a lot of attention to boot. You can find many examples of infographics by doing a search on your favorite search engine. They range from simple to very elaborate graphic designs. The trend seems to be use of large text, charts, maps, colors and icons/graphics.

If you choose to do one, the best way to approach the project is by starting with a plan. Secondly, research and gather facts about your organization. Then choose 2 to 3 points of focus. You don’t have to jam everything into one infographic; your organization may have several depending on the message you are trying to convey.

For example, you may want to focus on enrollment and graduation success on one infographic and donor support and fundraising on another. Some artists choose this as a way to communicate a project they worked on and map out the road to completion with elements of the work included in the graphic. A car mechanic might want to describe why it is important to keep the fluids in your car and the function they serve all the way to what could happen if the fluids weren’t replaced.

Studies have proven that not only do people retain more when illustrations are included with written descriptions, but will pay more attention to things that are simple and concisely stated, thus, the importance of brevity in a fast-paced world. People are too busy to read long scrolls of text. If you have a lengthy message, put it in a video, on an mp3 or set up an online course. The days of burning out eyes on books have been replaced with straining them on computer screens. Let’s face it. It’s much more entertaining, especially during a recession.

If you want to create an infographic template, try your hand at it by starting with some templates. After you’ve finished and they don’t look as good as you would like them to, hire a graphic designer. The good thing is you have a mockup for them to work from which should make it cheaper than if you went to them with nothing. When you complete your infographic, email it to CopyLine Magazine at www.copylinemagazine.com. And if it’s something we think would be of public interest, there’s a good chance we will publish it on the website.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. She is also a weekly columnist for CopyLine Magazine

This article was first published on October 10, 2013

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