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Guidelines for Using Infographics in News Releases



Guidelines for Using Infographics in News Releases

Although we justify our decisions with logic, it’s no secret that most of those decisions are based on emotion – and that’s largely driven by what we experience with our senses. Advertisers have leveraged this fact for decades by using visually stimulating images that we quickly process and retain.

So how can you take advantage of this emotional hook as a PR professional? In our always-on world, if you can’t grab someone’s attention instantly and keep it long enough to get your message across, you’ve lost the opportunity.

One way to capture and hold attention is to use images in your news releases. An infographic goes a step beyond that. It is both compelling and visually walks people through your key messages so they can quickly grasp what’s important and share the information with others.

Click on each image below to see how Marketwired clients use infographics in news releases:

Infographic1

Infographic2

Infographic3

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FIVE RULES OF THUMB FOR USING INFOGRAPHICS IN YOUR NEWS RELEASES

Before you venture into the land of infographics, consider that they tend to be time-consuming and resource-intensive to create, so it pays to do the groundwork first.  Here are five rules of thumb when developing an infographic to accompany a news release.

1)      Analyze your raw information.  An infographic is a great way to explain a detailed concept or an idea that is more effectively explained in a visual form than in text. Before you jump into the graphics, though, make sure you carefully analyze all the data and information you have. Is there a complete, single story? Are there are any holes getting from point A to point B? If either of these elements is absent, the flow of elements won’t make sense, the reader will get confused and you’ll lose credibility.

2)      Identify the most important, interesting points. These are what form the wireframe of your infographic. Do they directly relate to the content in your news release? If so, great. However, at this stage you may find out the infographic doesn’t exactly support what you are announcing. If that’s the case, don’t try to twist the data to make it fit. You might want to change the slant of your release or use a video or other type of image if you find out the two aren’t aligning.

3)      Choose your format wisely. There are several basic infographic formats to choose from, but your content will largely determine which one you use. Within each, the sky’s the limit for creativity. You may be comparing two or more ideas, answering a question, teaching a lesson, or guiding the viewer through a chronological sequence. Your infographic may be number- and chart-heavy, and/or it may incorporate photos and illustrations. Your content may be serious or funny.

4)      Keep it clear and simple. This is particularly important when using an infographic to accompany a news release. Even through it can be clicked to full size, when it’s embedded in your release an infographic appears small. If there are too many small elements within it that are visually competing with each other it could be repelling instead of compelling. You don’t want your infographic to look like someone randomly threw a collage of images and numbers together.

5)      Think about social sharing.  A good infographic will appeal to your target audiences – journalists, social influencers and consumers – and they will want to share it. Since that activity now often takes place on smart phones and tablets your infographic needs to be legible on the small screen. That’s why it’s even more important to keep it free of clutter and to use at least 12 pt. text for readibility.  But you also want your infographic to work on blogs and larger-screen formats as well, so make sure you start with high-res images – ideally 1000 X 500 at 72 dpi so when clicked to full size the resolution is clear.

Bottom line: Don’t include an infographic with your news release just for the sake of including an infographic. In other words, don’t force it. You must be confident that an infographic is the best way to get across the concept in your news release and will help people more easily understand and want to share your key messages.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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