Communications Strategy: Building messages with visuals

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It seems those of us who are natural communicators enjoy using the left hand side of our brains more than anything, to make use of emotions and creativity to solve problems and organise information in an intuitive and instantaneous way.

Communicating large and complicated amounts of information to internal stakeholders, with visual aids, separates project communications from usual internal comms output and engages employees in a way that reflects how we all take on messages in different ways.

The opportunities to boost communications strategy and use little visual helpers are endless:

  • Add a team photograph to your monthly internal company newsletter to make an article much more people focused.
  • Add an illustration to your annual corporate report to break up heavy texts and keep readers engaged.
  • Enrich video footage, such as a stakeholder interview, by adding illustrative imagery or additional voice-over clips that tell the story.
  • Even bringing along a couple of 3D pictures to drive home your message during your next company presentation can be very effective.

Whatever it is, information doesn’t have to be boring. This was once again proven by last year’s Information is Beautiful Awards, the world’s first global awards for data visualization and information design.

Making it onto the Award’s ‘Data Visualisation’ shortlist, for example, Catherine Mulbrandon, shows us that even an overview of top marginal tax rates – yes, not the most thrilling of stories for most of us – can be made exciting.

Communications Strategy

This infographic by Simply Business, recently published by, brings to life research published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and analyses/highlights the importance of UK SMEs within the private sector.

Communications Strategy

 

And another one of my favourite examples: a stylish overview of women being represented in boardrooms around the world by Grant Thornton. Notice how the infographic’s colours help tell the story and make it easier to understand the overall message. It’s certainly nicer than having to read through a 200 page report on the topic.

communications strategy

Of course, the digital arena has long embraced our love of the visual and has added some wonderful interactivity, not least through QR codes and augmented reality.

This little business here created its own set of colourful, playful, and most importantly interactive business cards, by integrating an augmented reality visual, which not only engages but also invites viewers to find out more about the business online.

 

The future of communicating on in the work environment has endless possibilities with augmented reality.

With any of these visualization techniques, do keep your audience in mind. Make sure it works on a practical level and is relevant to your overall message; personalize it to your readers and viewers as much as you can. Otherwise, have fun getting visual and enjoy the results.