David Meerman Scott’s NewsJacking uses an infographic to drive home its message at a glance, attracting new readers & reinforcing key ideas.
Many books with great ideas are often opaque at first glance; prospective readers don’t know why they they should want to buy the book, what they’re supposed to do, and how they’re supposed to do it.
Infographics, like the Newsjacking example you can view at larger size, provide readers with a visual cheat sheet that engages reader interest and reinforces key ideas.
Tips for creating a strong infographic
What I like most about the Newsjacking infographic I’ve annotated above is the way David Meerman Scott used the 3-column format to logically organize information into 3 key categories:
- Why. The first column provides the context to Newsjacking’s key ideas by describing the 3 key issues facing business owners today; news travels quickly, those who quickly respond enjoy a significant, often decisive, benefit, and restraint is also called for.
- What. The information in the second column describes what firms can do to accommodate the challenges and changed realities in the left-hand column.
- How. The third column provides a step-by-step guide to action that can provide leaders with a way of avoiding poorly-conceived responses like denial, chaos, or over-reaction.
Questions for David Meerman Scott
It would be interesting to learn from David where, in the Newsjacking writing and publishing process, the infographic was prepared.
Specifically, was the Newsjacking infographic developed early in the writing process, or later, after the first draft had been written?
It’s like the age-old “chicken or egg” question,
- If the infographic was created early, before most of the first draft was written, it may have played an active role as a creative tool helping David organize the book.
- If the infographic showed up after the first draft was completed, the infographic was less causative, more decorative, and primarily intended for marketing purposes.
Either way, visual thinking, an approach to communications that simultaneously addresses content and design issues, is becoming more and more important to authors and publishers.
Living in an attention-deficit economy, infographics can help authors organize their ideas before writing and–later–the same infogrraphics can help sell readers on the importance of the book, and help them take action, if needed.
To learn more
If you like the idea of infographics, you might enjoy examining Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick graphic that helped readers remember why some messages connect and others are forgotten.
Are infographics for you?
What do you think about infographics? Do you think can help simplify your writing, or will they just mean more work with uncertain rewards? What are some of the issues that are holding you back? Do you know of other books which effectively use infographics to attract new readers and help readers recall more after reading. Share your comments and questions, below, as comments.