Let's Get Visual: A Note About Infographics
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
This was written for CAS 832: Strategic Message Development in the Michigan State University Strategic Communications MA program.
Infographics offer a creative, compelling canvas for all strategic communication. Whereas typical graphic elements—photos, graphs, charts, or pull quotes—may compliment collateral, infographics offer a visual representation of data and ideas. Legorburu and McColl (2014) suggest that communications professionals stop creating ads and start creating worlds. Infographics move towards that trend. In fact, content management systems giant Salesforce recently acquired big data firm Tableau Software (Lunden, 2019). Tableau operates as a data analytics platform specializing in converting data and analytics into visual platforms. Erin (2017) describes infographics as the “Parmesan cheese to the Internet’s spaghetti.” Whether you are a pro graphic designer or a novice, one thing is clear: the days of presenting ideas through long and bloated PowerPoint presentations are over. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss an infographic (Appendix A) aligned with my organizing idea: “Characterized by Care.”
Picturing Home Care
Infographics have proven successful at Midwest Family Care (MFC). We are able to present health care data and trends in a way that seems comforting, not intimidating. Often, health information can present as depressing. I often wonder if there is a barrier with our industry for people who cannot or do not want to picture themselves or their loved ones getting older. There is always a “that happens to other people” aspect involved in health care. The challenge is to present data in a way that demonstrates our organizational understanding of current trends in our markets. Utilizing current, credible citations, I can position MFC as industry experts and MFC’s C-suite as content experts in the Madison market.
We have four divisions of the company, each with a specific audience and mission. Thus cramming this much mixed messaging into one infographic would present like blue text on a lime-green reverse—ineffective and nonintuitive. For the infographic in this assignment, I focused on home care. This division is the company’s biggest revenue generator and represents our flagship service. If this was a current campaign, I would create an infographic for each division of the company. I wanted to create a beginning, a middle, and an end. The headline is the title, the middle is the storyline, and the organizing idea is the pinnacle (reinforcing the story concept). I tried to not only rely on graphics, but to find ways to transform type into graphics. Most of the sourcing is from the national chapter of the Home Care Association of America—a membership association designed to advocate for nonmedical, private duty home care providers (Home Care Pulse, 2014).
Finally, I strived for a clean design. I chose two of our four logo colors to avoid a busy, noisy look. I am partial to the blue in our logo because of the psychology of color: blue elicits security, integrity, tranquility, and peace (Lofgren, 2019). I tried to present statistics, services, and story in a way that would not only inform, but prompt someone to contact the company.
Besides a professional polish, infographics are great for job security. In an age where anyone can download an app and start designing, infographics are a way for marketing professionals to combine design basics, strategy, and creativity. So, the next time leadership requests collateral, a shrewd marketer should reply: let’s get visual.
Erin, A. (2014, January 9). The pros and cons of using visual assets. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/agency/the-pros-and-cons-of-using-visual-assets
Home Care Pulse. (2014, May 22). What is the HCAOA (Home Care Association of America)?
Retrieved from https://www.homecarepulse.com/articles/hcaoa-home-care-association-america/
Legorburu, G., & McColl, D. (2014). Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds.[Kindle version]. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
Lofgren, L. (2019, April 17). The psychology of color. Retrieved from https://www.quicksprout.com/psychology-of-color/
Lunden, I. (2019, June 10). Salesforce is buying data visualization company Tableau for $15.7B in all-stock deal. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/10/salesforce-is-buying-data-visualization-company-tableau-for-15-7b-in-all-stock-deal/
McColl, D. (2015, September 1). Making purpose a priority. Retrieved from https://www.storyscaping.com/make-purpose-a-priority/
McCormack, J. (2014). Brief: Make a bigger impact by saying less.[Kindle version]. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
Woods, B. (2019, April 9). America’s $103 billion home health-care system is in crisis as worker shortage worsens. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/09/us-home-healthcare-system-is-in-crisis-as-worker-shortages-worsen.html