The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect With Your Audiences

The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect With Your Audiences

by Mark Smiciklas


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780789749499
Publisher: Que
Publication date: 07/06/2012
Series: Que Biz-Tech Series
Pages: 225
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Mark Smiciklas is the president of Intersection Consulting, a Vancouver-based digital marketing and communications agency that teaches organizations how to leverage the dynamics of Web 2.0 to achieve business goals. He is an established digital marketing and social media practitioner recognized for his visual thinking and strategic, no-nonsense approach. His service offering is framed by core beliefs in listening, stakeholder engagement, trust creation, and employee empowerment. An interest in the evolution of social business continues to motivate him, as does a passion for teaching. Smiciklas has developed and taught social media strategy classes for undergraduates and adult learners at a number of Canadian universities. He also has spoken about a wide variety of digital marketing topics at corporate and public events and workshops. His genuine love of technology and people continues to ignite ongoing learning and new thinking that aim to help individuals and organizations connect with their audiences. Smiciklas hangs out full-time at blog. He can be found on Twitter at @Intersection1. He is also a regular contributor to, the popular digital and social media marketing and online communications blog. He lives in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, with his lovely wife, three kids, and Max the dog.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki xiii


Chapter 1 Infographics 101 3
What Are Infographics? 3
Infographics Defined 3
Infographic History 6
The Science of Visualization 7
Hardwiring 7
Easy on the Mind 7
Visual Learning 11
Why Infographics Work for Business 12
Easy to Digest 12
Shareability 15
The “Cool” Factor 16
Endnotes 16


Chapter 2 Visualizing Numbers and Concepts 21
Statistics 21
Using Data to Tell a Story 22
The Benefits of Visualizing Research 24
Understanding the Risks 25
Ideas and Concepts 26
Using Visual Metaphors 27
Using Cartoons to Communicate Your Ideas 30
Case Study: The Kronos “Time Well Spent” Cartoon Series 33
Endnotes 34

Chapter 3 Visualizing How Things Work and Are Connected 35
Process 35
The Jargon Dilemma 37
Infographics Help Explain What You Do 38
Hierarchy 42
Business Hierarchies 42
Relationships 47
Simplified Systems Thinking 49
Business Models 49
Endnotes 55

Chapter 4 Visualizing Who, When, and Where 57
Personality 57
Brand Humanization 58
Infographic Resumes 60
Chronology 65
Business Timelines 65
Geography 69
Business Maps 69
Endnotes 72


Chapter 5 Infographic Prep Work 75
Purpose 77
Understanding Your Audiences’ Information Needs 77
Audience Analysis 77
Setting Infographic Objectives 79
The Art of Observation 82
Seeing 82
Listening 83
Endnotes 86

Chapter 6 Processing Your Ideas 87
Recording Your Thoughts 87
I’m Not an Artist 87
Different Ways to Document 88
Info-Synthesis 90
The Five W’s (and One H) of Infographics . 94
Endnotes 98

Chapter 7 Designing Your Infographics 99
The Critics 99
Infographic DIY 100
An Infographic Rant 100
The DIY Infographic Formula 103
Outsourcing 108
Going Pro 109
Working with Students 114
Endnotes 118

Chapter 8 Publishing Your Infographics 119
Audience Research 119
Online Publishing Channels 120
Infographic Home Base 122
Infographic Outposts 126
Offline Publishing Opportunities 133
Endnotes 133


Chapter 9 Infographics as an Internal and External Communication Tool . . . . 137
Using Infographics to Build Your Brand 137
The Business of Infographics 138
Content Marketing 139
Promoting Your Infographics 148
Infographics Inside the Organization 153
Internal Adoption of Infographics 153
Internal Communication Opportunities 154
Endnotes 155

Chapter 10 Infographic ROI 157
Measuring the VOI (Value of Infographics) 159
Tangible Metrics 160
Intangible Benefits 163

Chapter 11 Infographic Resources 165
Guide to Visual Elements 165
Infographic Tools . 175
Visualization Tools 175
Design Elements 178
Further Reading 179
Information Designers, Consultants, and Agencies 181
Agencies 182
Freelance Designers 184
Consultants 187

Index 189

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The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect With Your Audiences 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Power of Infographics by Mark Smiciklas, review by Tyler Milan Infographics let data tell a story through a picture rather than an large amount of text. A picture is more likely to get attention. The Federal Budget is far more comprehensible in a sunburst chart than a data sheet with lots of numbers. If your business could benefit from visual communication, but you don’t know where to start, The Power of Infographics is your introductory course to the field. The solopreneur or old-school enterprise trying to keep up in the digital age will appreciate this guide and its focus on the strategic use of infographics in business. Author Mark Smiciklas covers every possible opportunity to use visual data representations instead of basic text or numerical data. From internal concerns such as clarifying policies and improving interdepartmental communication to external goals such as softening a brand image and illuminating price structures, every point is supported by articles and interviews with experts ranging from MIT scholars to Social Media CEOs. A marketing department will find plenty of evidence or ammunition in these pages to defend budget increases. I liked the practicality of section III which contains a balanced and detailed guide covering how to think about creating the graphic. Basic steps such as how to define the audience, the information and the message will be invaluable to those just beginning. In-house versus outsourcing and finding the right designer to fit the project are knowledgeably addressed. Initially, the design consultants and agencies mentioned in the pricing section, resource guide and sprinkled throughout the book seemed like advertising, but taken with the right perspective they are a good place to start. I really hoped that the author would spend a little more time on design itself. Instead, he provides links in a section called “Inspiration” and more resources in the last chapter. Recommended sites such as coolinfographics and flowingdata are some next steps if the reader wants to keep going. The tone is friendly, yet practical. The graphics are not intimidating or edgy, which lends a gentle almost soothing quality to the pages. Unfortunately, not all the infographics made sense (figure 3.5 Social Business Organization) and in one case the text was too small to be read (figure 5.4 Listen Before Communicating). Yes, I could look up the image on the digital version which is available for free for 45 days, but I shouldn’t have to. The only extra content available on the digital version is a link to his website. This was a missed opportunity to include some actual extra material. The blogger, journalist or academic looking to improve their visual data skills will probably not find much to learn in this book, but it’s not aimed at them. Mark Smiciklas is a Digital Strategist and his goal is to show how to leverage infographics in the business domain. The Power of Infographics is a comprehensive and gentle guide to this visual tool.