Say it With Pictures: 10 Tips for Killer Infographics

July 31, 2012

I’ve been scooped by the Chronicle of Philanthropy! Yep, one of our funder friends sent me an article from the Chronicle many months ago with good guidance on infographics. Below, we’ve combined the Chronicle’s excellent advice with some of our own, based on experience communicating issues as complex as climate change and biofuels visually.

  1. Get clear on goals. Is the infographic designed to raise awareness, mobilize supporters, generate media coverage?
  2. Compile the data you need, cite the sources, and make sure they’re credible.
  3. Translate numbers into concepts people can relate to: a bushel of corn is enough to feed a person for six weeks, 1,000 acres is the size of Golden Gate Park.
  4. Keep it simple. Streamline information and visuals so the infographic can be viewed without scrolling.
  5. Make it look good. Graphs and tables will not inspire people to share. Use figures that tell a story at a glance.
  6. Create a media plan. Treat it like a report release and come out with guns blazing in the first day (while knowing you can keep pushing it out for days afterward, unlike a traditional press release).
  7. Develop pitches, template tweets, and Facebook posts ahead of time using buzz-worthy keywords.
  8. Time strategically. Connect the infographic to breaking news or a current trend.
  9. Publish the infographic online and make it easy to share on social media or embed in a blog or website.
  10. Use Bitly to track clicks from your outreach efforts, and document lessons learned.

Have tips to share from your own infographic adventures? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!

Liz Banse