Last year I spotted the trend in visual marketing. Last November, I introduced you to the infographic. Since then infographics have mushroomed all over the place. They’re getting used for everything from basic data summaries or resumes. Unfortunately this is still a very short sighted use of a really unique way to pitch a thought. Instead of just relying on an infographic to push data, why not switch it up and use it for one of these two reasons?

Press Kits

Let’s do away with the cumbersome press kit that includes several files or sheets (depending on whether you’re printing or going digital). Let’s instead opt for an infographic that answers all these questions in a creative and aesthetically pleasing format. If you’re going digital, keep your file size to about the sheet of a paper or use simpler concepts across more pages like in the example for Apolorama Digital Magazine. If you’re going print, go for a double sided 5 x 7 club card/post card. Use the header to identify your company name/logo and use sub headers to distinguish various sections that would normally be included in press kit. You’ll have to trim the fat to get to the nitty gritty of what you’re trying to say – a move that will make you realize how superfluous your traditional press kit was.

You can also think linearly about press and choose to turn your press releases into infographics. PR Newswire recently did a study (presented as an infographic) that concluded an increase of multimedia leads to more views per release. The findings suggest you can try to add at least one level of multi-media to each release. If you’re not completely sold on value of an infographic as a press release tool, then try doing an A/B test and see which method is getting more traction. If you’re still not convinced on the viral nature of infographics considering people like and tend to share them more often then print data alone, then consider the mind of a reporter. A reporter is looking to flesh out their story with data points. The less they have to go sifting through lines of texts to get it, the more likely they are to rely on your PR message. Press releases are long-winded narratives that force a story to a reporter. On the other hand, infographics give reporters what they want, and that’s the facts.

Storytelling

Reporters may not be too interested in your story, but your target audience is. Storytelling has been a 2013 business buzzword. People are no longer interested in corporate missions; even corporations are tired of corporate speak. The prevailing trend has been storytelling, hailed as the number one business skillthrough the next five years. In the context of an infographic, your job is to figure out how to pair data and design to create a story. Infographics aren’t just about data and illustration. They’re about telling a story in the oldest way known to man – through a picture.

A highly recommended book, Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling, by Ross Crooks, offers three key factors to keep in mind when designing your graphics. These are utility, soundness, and beauty. Ask yourself whether the graphics offer a function, if they mirror or compliment the data, and if they’re pleasing to the eye. Crooks, who teaches information visualization at Columbia University, reminds us that each graphic could serve a different function. In a Dashburst interview with Daniel Zeevi, Crooks adds “that one may focus more on catching the attention of a specific audience, while another could have the communication of a difficult concept as its main objective. Each of these objectives necessitates a different strategic approach, not only to the creative aspects of the content, but to the way the content will be distributed and interacted with by the audience.”

Shifting beyond just a traditional use of infographics means that you’re getting more value for your time. Instead of create a visual content piece that gets lost in a funnel, you’re create pieces that inspire action.