By Steve Burkhart
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

“We are earthlings. We come in peace… We could use some clothes,” might be the part of the infographic dialogue, too — if there were dialogue.

The famous image affixed to Pioneer spacecraft aimed for deep space wasn’t the original infographic, but it could have been the beginning of the Infographic Era 1. 0.

The images were designed to be understood by extraterrestrial beings who would have no conception of human language.

Now, infographics are designed to be consumed by alienated audiences who have no concept of reading human language that is longer than a tweet. No wonder the use of infographics has exploded. But in this vast universe of infographic mania, how do you make yours stand out?

Here are some great examples that I personally love:

Deliver on a sense of surprise, joy, discovery

Here you can see that infographics do not have to be static images. Animation or video can evoke a sense of wonder and engagement that sets your infographic above the rest.

A timeline of events is another powerful way to visually show the historical significance of an event. Here is what The Hoffman Agency created to showcase the 50th anniversary of the discovery of background radiation that confirmed the Big Bang theory. It was a program we created for Bell Labs and Alcatel-Lucent.

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Serve some greater good (help people, businesses do something with greater ease)

Helping others is a great way to get shares and views of your infographic. It’s also a way to build trust and loyalty as your audiences see that you are giving them something (in this case valuable holiday information) that will make their lives easier, better. The Hoffman Agency developed this one for Newell Rubbermaid’s Endicia.

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Tell a compelling story with data

Infographics provide an ideal way to capture large about of data in an instantly understandable way. The best way is to tell a story with data, to give it context of “So what?” “Why it matters …”

This very compelling infographic tells the story of the gender inequality in the global boardrooms in a way a written narrative alone could never accomplish. This shows that wherever you go in the world for virtually every big company, males hold the reins of director power.

From a practical standpoint, infographics are massively powerful in driving media relations results in outlets that wouldn’t have given your story a second look otherwise. And, of course, good infographics are beautiful at doing double duty — as they are infinitely sharable on social channels.

So make contact with new worlds in 2015! Do it with better infographics.

Side note: If you’re interested in more information, PR Newswire also created a helpful post on infographics.

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