The rise of the infographic


By Claire Leggott

‘Infographic’ – a word few were familiar with a few years ago but one that now rolls of the tongue of many seasoned PR or marketing professionals.  So, what exactly is an infographic?

According to the Oxford Dictionary an infographic is “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.”  I think this simplifies the notion giving the impression that it is merely a bar chart, flow chart or table, when in fact a good infographic is so much more – it is a way of telling a story without words.  Infographics paint a picture to explain complex information via a quick glance.

Infographics have been around for many years  but have recently become mainstream thanks to the ease of sharing them online and via social media platforms.

Are they of use in the world of PR?  We would say a resounding yes.  In a world of information overload and lack of time, the infographic can cut through the crowd to grab people’s attention, be it a journalist or a consumer.  What’s more, their attention doesn’t have to be held for long, within moments an infographic can educate readers about a new topic and inspire them to learn more or take action.

If developing an infographic there are a few top tips to bear in mind:

  • Be clear and concise
  • Don’t cram in too much detail
  • Present ‘nugget’ style information
  • Stick to the facts
  • Limit the number of words used
  • Include interactivity or
    moving images
    to increase impact
  • Ensure it is easy to download, upload and re-post

They aren’t always the ideal tool to use, not every complicated story or set of survey results will translate effectively into an infographic.  However, we would recommend considering presenting a news story or providing background information with an infographic.  They say a picture can be worth a thousand words.  We say a carefully crafted infographic can be worth 10,000 words.


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World Public Relations Forum 2012: Day 1


Melbourne is currently playing host to the biggest contingent of PR professionals ever to descend on Australian soil at the World PR Forum, and a couple of ‘Cubans’ – Niki Hennessy and Jade McCudden – have joined the more than 800 delegates from 21 countries to talk about all things PR and communication! Here’s the duo’s overview of the highlights from Day 1.

The Forum is being facilitated by the ABC’s Virginia Trioli – who is doing a great job of keeping enthusiastic communicators in-line and on schedule, and apparently enjoying getting a look behind the scenes of ‘the dark side’!

After the welcome address from Nick Turner, PRIA, Robina Xavier, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Dan Tisch, Global Alliance for PR and Communications Management, we were treated to a keynote presentation from Wadah Khanfer, who is described as one of the world’s few gentlemen in broadcast TV. Khanfer is President of the Sharq Forum and former Director General of Al-Jazeera.

The presentation was a huge highlight, providing insight into the changing face of broadcast journalism, the emergence of the ‘two speed newsroom’ and the impact of social media in empowering the populace as agents of social change.

Khanfer’s presentation then moved onto a panel discussion that further explored communication without borders (or communication across borders) with Wadah Khanfer, Andrew Beswick from Amnesty International, Jehan Bseiso from Medecins Sans Frontieres and Archie Law from Action Aid Australia.

After morning tea the Cube team attended the Marketing and Brand session with Marne Fechner, Netball Australia, Brian Finn, Ideas Shop and Peter Young, Cricket Australia. The session focused on transforming and revitalising your brand by re-engaging with traditional fans/brand advocates and reaching new ones. According to Brian Finn, for Rugby New Zealand’s 2011 World Cup bid, this meant strong themes, taking an inclusive approach, engaging its stakeholders, demonstrating ways for people to get involved and actively managing risk. Moving forward it apparently involves Taylor Swift.

As part of the 2012 Forum the Global Alliance is producing the Melbourne mandate, a ‘dialogue on how communication is changing our world, our organisations and our profession – and how communication must change as a consequence’. During the first afternoon session we participated in a working session to discuss and critique the draft mandate. We’ll share more about the mandate at a later date, so stay tuned!

The afternoon also saw Professor Mark Pearson from Bond University and Claire O’Rourke from Essential Media discuss some of the legal and ethical issues presented by social media. As Prof. Pearson summed it up, ‘this is the new media literacy’, and something every communications professional should be aware of, so we’ll have more on this later as well.

After a day of inspiring and informative sessions it was time to glam it up as we headed to the MCG for the 2012 PRIA Golden Target Awards and the World PR Forum Gala Dinner.

Highlights of the night included Prof. Jim MacNamara from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) – where quit a few Cubans graduated from – being awarded the Educator of the Year Award, and the retro photo booth at the gala dinner.

Niki and Jade having fun playing dress-ups at the World PR Forum Gala dinner.

Congratulations to all of last night’s winners at the Golden Target Awards! Stay tuned for more on Day 2 of the Forum. You can also stay up-to-date on all the action as it happens by following us on @CubeBytes.


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