Using Infographics to Communicate

SMEPA InfographicToday marketers and business leaders face the challenge of reaching younger and increasingly digital-savvy audiences, while giving them information they can assimilate and understand. The use of visuals, especially through infographics, is an effective tactic for communicating to audiences, particularly on social media.

An infographic uses both text and images to create a simple, easily understood visual of what may be an otherwise complex subject. This approach works well with audiences who use mobile devices and otherwise have little time to read.

GodwinGroup client South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) recently launched an infographic as a way to connect with its audiences and convey information. SMEPA is a rural electrical power provider comprised of 12 electric cooperatives that provide power to more than 419,000 homes and businesses from the Delta to the Coast. Despite a 75-year history of being a reliable provider of electricity, SMEPA management recognized that many of its members and customers did not fully understand how it operates.

As part of a comprehensive communications effort, an infographic was developed to convey information in an interesting and easily understood visual. Titled “The Power of Working Together,” the infographic profiles SMEPA’s “power of 12” cooperatives, where power comes from (sources) and how many customers are served. It explains the concept of a member-owned co-op, how funds are used to generate power and how remaining funds (capital credits) are returned to the consumers, who are co-op members.

“Infographics work well because humans can process and understand images much quicker than text,” said Jimbo Harwell, GodwinGroup’s Director of Design. “The best infographics use the right combination of graphs, charts, numbers and text to create a visual display that’s much easier to read than simple text.”

Harwell said infographics are particularly effective in conveying complex subject matter by communicating it in a more interesting way. Still, there are good and bad examples.

“Everyone seems to agree on the value of using infographics, but we’ve seen growing numbers of poorly designed infographics that fall short,” Harwell said. “We work with our clients to make sure we are staying on message, and our designers understand the importance of striking the right balance of text and graphics, and making sure it is relevant to the audience.”

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