Go Forth and Design

5415696381_a300b97b3b_zTo create a successful infographic, it’s important to decide what information to include and what to leave out.
That’s the challenge my Strategic PR Communication students face as they work on the first draft of their infographics assignment this weekend.

So I was especially intrigued by this Harvard Business Review blog post Visualizing Zero: How to Show Something with Nothing. The post explores the question, “How do we make the slippery attributes of nothingness visible?” The author looks at three categories of nothingness: showing the absence of data, representing zero and utilizing emptiness. Examples include the state of the polar bear (and Russian unwillingness to release its data), how no MLB players wear #42 now that Mariano Rivera retired and the lack of cholera deaths in 1854 London at a brewery.

In addition to the added challenge of representing nothingness, in each case the infographic designer still had to make complex data easily understood.

Making infographics, especially persuasive infographics, is tricky. As in any PR exercise, it’s crucial to distill one’s information to key messages.

Here are some student examples, (shared with permission), from last term for inspiration:

And with that, here’s some more weekly insPiRation:

Music…social media…image management…politics…
The Most Interesting Governor’s Daughter in the Country (The Washington Post)
Lots of PR issues in this story about Christina Fallin, member of the electronica band Pink Pony and daughter of the governor of Oklahoma. Discuss any or all…

Personal branding & career…
Tattoos as a branding statement: Art or desecration? (Ragan)
Are tattoos a branding statement? Do you agree with the author’s point or not – and why?

Nutrition & health & documentary & PR…
‘Fed Up’ Asks, Are All Calories Created Equal? (The New York Times)
How does reporting on public health issues create public perceptions and influence personal habits? How do food industry corporations use PR to make their points and what is the effect on public health?

Social media & PR…
Snapchat Admits That It Made Up All That ‘Privacy’ Stuff (PRNewser)
I never trusted Snapchat – did you? What PR problems will the founders and brands that relied on Snapchat now face?

Hollywood Charities Boycott Hotel to Protest Brunei’s Adoption of Shariah (The New York Times)
Should events in other countries impact tourism in the U.S.? What does this say about image management in a globalized world?

Music…sports…social media…crisis communications…
Lady Gaga Fans Unhappy That Washington Concert Could Take Back Seat to NBA Playoff (The Washington Post)
How would you handle this crisis if you worked at the Verizon Center? Which are more important, sports or music fans? What’s the role of social media in this crisis and how might it affect the venue’s brand?

Global public health & PR…
Polio’s Return After Near Eradication Prompts a Global Health Warning (The New York Times)
Do you think this is a good PR move in the fight against polio?

Inbreeding is Why Beautiful Strawberries Taste Like Nothing (Mashable)
How has consumer demand changed our food? How might PR be able to advocate for better fruits and vegetables? What trends support a change?

Sports & fashion & branding…
Report: Under Armour Wasn’t Really Responsible for Sochi Speedskating Losses (PRNewser)
How would you handle this news if you worked for Under Armour? Is it good PR to tout scientific advances before they’re proven?

Craft beer trends…
Building a Beer Collection (The Wall Street Journal)
How can craft breweries capitalize on the new trend of beer cellars? Why do you think craft beer trends follow the wine industry – and is this a good thing?

Social media & branding….
Infographic: When You  Should – And Should Not – Post to Social Media (Ragan)
Interesting information on Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr. What’s the impact for brands and their social media managers?

Cinema & PR…
The Film Industry Has a New Definition of PR (PRNewser)
Is film industry PR too corporate?

A San Francisco Love Affair {Green Edition} (Elephant Journal)
Does going green have an impact on a city’s image and/or tourism industry?

Beverage industry…nutrition…PR….
POM Responds to John Oliver’s Not-So-Gentle Ribbing (PRNewser)
Was this a smart PR move by POM Wonderful? How could it have avoided the issue in the first place?



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