Infographics are taking the PR world by storm and it’s definitely time to capitalize on it. In this day and age, with the digital word going on overload, information is thrown at you every where you look. Instead of writing out word for word statistics, data, or knowledge, infographics are visual representations of information in graphic format, that make data easily understandable and digestible at glance. When done correctly, they can present the information you need in a compelling and intriguing way. Infographics not only allow readers to easily understand your key message, but they are also extremely shareable (more likely to be shared on social media than your standard text article) and they are truly eye catching.
Time and time again I have seen different athletic teams use infographics in order to display game statistics. Sports PR professionals need to take advantage of the infographic and use it towards the benefit of fan viewing. However, it’s not as simple as it looks creating an infographic. It’s important to realize the “do’s and don’ts” when building an infographic. Here are 5 key points to keep in mind:
1. Know Your Target Audience
I don’t think PR specialists could stress this critical point enough…you must know who your audience is! It is of the utmost importance that you know what your audience wants and where your audience goes to find information. Do not make your infographic appealing to everyone, it needs to be specific and relevant to your audience in order generate the most attention and view-ability. The story you are showing through this infographic needs to be accessible and influential to your viewers. By knowing who your audience is, you can hone in on how to share the key message within the infographic and where the infographic should be shared to achieve share-ability.
2. Keep it Simple
The great thing about infographics is that they can compile advanced information into a simple visual form. Key things to know when creating an infographic are to keep is short, rather than long, so it is manageable in size, bring order out of chaos, don’t overdo it (i.e. leave white space and don’t clutter), and only use information that matters to the audience. Infographics need to have a single driven and focused point.
3. Show Things Visually
The whole point of an infographic is to show information graphically, so do it! Use graphs, charts, and timelines to show information. Use as many colors as you need to the tell story you want. Make sure to be careful with emphasis and strategically use size, boldness, fonts, and capitalization. Infographics need to have a tactical reason for every shape, size, color, or graphic, but, this is what ultimately makes the infographic so visually appealing and shareable.
4. Create a Story that Flows
Your data needs to have a story. This story is what leads you to illustrate your message. Whether your infographic is top to bottom or left to right, the story needs to flow from one phase to the next. Typically the end of an infographic calls for an action. This is a good way to determine how to create your story. The inverted pyramid is a good concept to think about when creating an infographic. You need to be able to connect the dots.
5. Check Your Facts
I cannot stress how important this key point is. Because many infographics focus on presenting data, it is crucial that the information you are pulling out is accurate. In order to do this use reputable and reliable sources, check and make sure the facts are true, and make sure that all of your data lines up with the numbers. Finally, cite your sources at the bottom of your infographic to assure that your are giving credit where credit is due.
Search volumes for these designs have increased by more than 800% between 2010 and 2012, while – since 2007 – the usage of visual data has grown by almost 1000%. The popularity of infographics continues to surge and the skills to create an effective infographic is essential to have in and PR professionals pocket. For the sports PR industry, creating infographics for fans is just another way for PR professionals to gather personalized information in a way that engages fans and keeps them in the loop with the latest game stats.