Companies successfully use infographics to generate publicity for a brand or cause, through blogging or social networking sites, or through a press release. IGs have the knack of getting to the point visually and extending the life and context of a press article as they can provide details interestingly and be shared, commented on and discussed. PR Newswire shares useful tips on building a media-friendly infographic to boost the results of a press release.
Editorial sites often craft an article around an infographic to tell the story more succinctly, grab an audience, enhance reader engagement and drive more traffic to their sites. Read more on the power of infographics as a link-building technique.
As in all good editorial content, good infographics are focused on the topic, relevant and clear to the audience they address – like this infographic on The American Dream: a tongue-in-cheek yet hard-hitting look at how the “road to riches” leads people into debt. Note the use of blurbs and cartoons to personalize the message, while the data is simply and clearly presented.
An infographic is wonderfully versatile, depending on its form and function – but whether it is called called Data Visualisation, Infographic/Information Design, Interactive Visualisation, Data Journalism, Interactive Infographic or Motion Infographic… each data viz is a piece of communication that needs to get a message across to an audience effectively. See the examples below.
Where are foreigners buying real estate in the US? Click Credit Sesame’s interactive infographic on “The Foreign Factor” to find out.
Explore this beautifully conceived and presented USAID Motion Infographic on using clean energy for Powering Agriculture, created by Column Five.
According to Wikipedia, “Data-driven journalism is a journalistic process based on analyzing and filtering large data sets for the purpose of creating a new story. Data-driven journalism deals with open data that is freely available online and analyzed with open source tools.
 Information architect Mirko Lorenz says that data-driven journalism is a workflow that involves digging deep into data by scraping, cleansing and structuring it, filtering by mining for specific information, visualizing and making a story.
 This process can be extended to provide information results that cater to individual interests and the broader public.
This infographic in “The Data Journalism Handbook” depicts where to find data on the web, how to request it using freedom of information laws, how to screen scrape and crowdsource it, and how you can republish it and give others permission to reuse it.
Another infographic in “The Data Journalism Handbook” shows how to deliver your data to the public – from news apps, to data visualisations, to engaging audiences around your project.
The Knight Foundation infographic above shows “The Hacker Journalist” of the Web 2.0 era – a combination of investigative reporter, big picture thinker and storyteller + process-oriented problem-solver and programmer, capable of distilling data into knowledge and presenting it through data visualization to impact people. These hybrid skills in a journalist will advance the future of news and information.
Here are some excellent examples of data-driven journalism.
The Guardian presents all the data for the London Olympics in one place, along with data visualizations, interactive maps, guides, tours and animations.
This stunning infographic commissioned by ESPN for Opening Day looks back on interesting moments in the history of Opening Day for baseball. Click the link and scroll through to see the artistic combination of color, art, photos, textures, retro look, cartoons, charts and stats that form this epic piece.
This wonderfully engaging and interactive infographic by the New York Times compares the record breaking 9.83 achievement of Usain Bolt against every Olympic medalist in the 100 meter sprint, in the 116 years of Olympic history. For the sports enthusiast, here are more NY Times infographics for the 100 meter freestyle and for the long jump.
1. What is an Infographic?
2. Why use Infographics?
3. How Infographics Evolved
4. Infographics in PR and Editorial Content
5. Infographics in Education
6. Free Tools for Creating an Infographic
7. How to Create a Memorable Infographic
8. How to Assess Your Infographic