Do You Talk Infographic?
As PR pros, we try to put ourselves in the shoes of the reporter when it comes to pitching and securing coverage. Some tried and true tactics include: consider how your pitch will appeal to the reporter’s readers, make it fit their medium (TV, radio, online and print), make their job easier (offer information and resources in a timely and efficient manner), demonstrate a new angle, etc. This is PR 101 and Susan Young, the “Virtual PR Coach,” does a nice job of covering these fundamentals in her blog post, “5 Ways to Think Like a Reporter.”
In addition to these basics, we also need to pay attention to the ever-evolving media industry to take into account rising trends or we’ll miss the boat. Let’s consider the rise of online news and the way American readers consume it. It is certainly top of mind for reporters and it shapes their stories. Therefore, it needs to be top of mind for us too.
A recent Pew Research Center study indicates that online is now the third most popular news platform (number 1 is local television news and number 2 is national television news). The same study points out that the average online news consumer does not typically have one “go-to” news site. They are happy to check out several. Arguably, this makes the competition to capture online reader attention fierce. Online editors and journalists know their readers want content that is compelling, visually appealing and easy to swallow.
This brings us to the infographic which can harness lots and lots of data into a digestible format that is beautiful to look at and highly interactive to boot. As a result, this visual tool has become extremely popular among readers and therefore, online news sites. Fast Company, for example does a brilliant “Infographic of the Day” and just about any online publication you can name has used them as a visual asset. With that in mind, we can approach a pitch by packaging it up into an infographic.
To do this, take a step back and see what unique information your client may have. Is it particular insight into an industry? Perhaps they have monitored and tracked legislative policy, a timeline of technology innovation, sales numbers in certain markets and industries, etc. If that tells an interesting story and will resonate with your target’s readers, then pitch it. Make suggestions for how it can be expressed visually but don’t let it stop you if you don’t have a fully formed infographic. Many outlets have their own sources to create the finished product so start getting creative to come up with infographic pitches. We’ll be brainstorming our own and hope to report success stories down the road.