Data Viz

When I think about drawing I feel like I need to jump out of my skin. Or I want to cry or stomp and run away.

But while not every PR professional likes drawing, every one should be able to develop concise messages in a visual format.

Luckily, infographics don’t require you to be good at art. They require you to do the same things you always do in PR: think of your audience, develop messages, find information that supports your message and organize it logically – all in an ethical framework.

Okay, so it does require you to know some design. And while I admit to never knowing how to decorate my house, basic design principles are pretty straightforward.


For the next two weeks in class my students will be working on creating their own infographics on behalf of a hypothetical client, aligned in some way with their blog and personal social media theme for the term. Since they’re all young adults, I thought they might be interested in infographics on what Millennials value and stats about Gen Z’s feelings about digital and tech.

The difference between these infographics and what they’ll produce is that those infographics just share information. My students need to (also) persuade.

In two weeks, they’ll share their efforts on their blogs so you can see how they fared.

For now, here’s your insPiRation:

Tourism & Travel…
Hotels That Help You Say Hola or Bonjour (And More) (The New York Times)
What do you make of this new trend? What audiences are hotels trying to reach? The serious language learner or someone else?



United Airlines Final 747 Boeing 747 Flight Is Today (USA Today)
From a PR standpoint, what do you think about United and other airlines’ “final flight” events? What are the strategic goals and messages? Talk about earned, owned and social media.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Request Answers for UO’s Handling of Basketball Player’s Rape Allegations, Title XI Violations (The Daily Emerald)
What do you think of the UO communication department’s response to the fallout from the article in Sports Illustrated by SOJC student Kenny Jacoby? How do privacy issues around sexual assault (and sexual assault allegations) and student limit how schools can respond to the media? Even with limits, did UO handle its media response appropriately in your opinion?

Sports… NBA…
How Nike Designs for an N.B.A. Athlete (New York Times) How is the design process related to research and audiences? What is data-informed design?

Sports.. NFL… Food & Restaurants… 
DiGiorno Scores Points Trolling Papa John’s on Twitter (
What’s your take on this Twitter war? Do you agree or disagree with the three takeaways for brand managers at the end of article? How should the NFL react (or not) to this controversy?

Kellogg’s Apologize For Lone Brown Corn Pop On Cereal Box (The Washington Post)
What do you think about how Kellogg handled this, especially given that some on social media disagreed there was a problem? How is social media changing how consumers interact with food brands?

Indonesian Food Blogger: The Unifying Power of Cuisine and Social Media (NPR)
How does your approach to food blogging compare with Prawnche Ngaditowo’s?

Taylor Swift, Look What You Made the ACLU Do (Mashable)
Here’s a crisis for Taylor Swift – discuss! Should musicians go after journalists? Does Swift need to do more to denounce white supremacy even more clearly – or is that unfair? Even if it’s unfair, would it be smart PR to do so? Do Swift’s audiences support her in this fight?

How Reese Witherspoon is Changing Hollywood for Women (The Wall Street Journal)
Much of this article is about a movie star and the movie industry. But part of it is about the TV industry. Focusing on that part, comment on Witherspoon’s role in changing TV. Does it take a woman to reach female audiences? Should other TV companies take note and diversify their ranks and/or offerings? What does it say when it takes an A-list movie star to get TV shows geared toward women made?

BuzzFeed Bets On The Future Of Television (Fast Company)
Lots of interesting info in here. How does it relate to PR for TV companies?

CSR… Nonprofits…
Black Corporate Execs See PAC as Tool to Raise Common Voice (Nonprofit Quarterly)
Discuss your reaction to this story based on what you’ve learned about CSR and executive activism. Do you think audiences will support this type of CSR? If so, which ones and why? How should nonprofits that are political organizations think about messaging and mission?

How To Create More Effective Nonprofit Social Media Content (Forbes)
How is social media changing the way nonprofits engage donors and volunteers?

Pick any one of these research roundups from the University of Florida about cancer and communication to discuss. What are the key points you could share with your blog’s readers about cancer and communication? How can academic research inform PR practice? Is there anything surprising here for PR practitioners to consider?

Theatre & Performing Arts…
Not a story (prompt), at least not a traditional one. What do you think of how The Met is using Instagram Story to reach audiences? Why is this smart PR? Also, why is a museum linking static and performing arts?

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