Crowdsourcing Week: Infographics

This is what I’m talking about–The United Nations Foundation’s International Women’s Day Infographic, used with permission

Today is my last post for crowdsourcing week.

Next week, I promise I’ll be back to trying to add some actual value, instead of just asking (nicely, I hope) for help from you generous souls.

But I saved the most fun for last, I think.

Because who doesn’t love some totally awesome infographics?

I know that I do, but I also find their creation a bit daunting.

I love my text, and parting with copious amounts of words, when trying to convince others of some really important truth, has always been difficult for me. I have learned, over years of advocacy, that more doesn’t equal better, when it comes to advocacy and word counts, but the visual angle has always been more of a challenge.

But there are so many tremendously effective infographics in the advocacy world today, and they are a (maybe rare) example of a fad in communications that seems to also be a true improvement over previous methods.

A good infographic can say just as much as a fact sheet (unlike those photos with a catchy saying on them), but in a way that is more visually appealing and increases the likelihood that people stay with you long enough to really get what you are saying.

So what I’m crowdsourcing today is your infographic love. What are your favorite examples of infographics for social change? What makes an infographic compelling, to you, and what turns you off? How do your nonprofit organizations use infographics as part of your communications strategy, particularly around your advocacy goals? Do you craft infographics differently for internal audiences (your Board, your volunteers, your clients) than for your external targets for change?

How do you produce infographics? Do you have internal capacity to produce them, or do you rely on hired graphics help? If the latter, how do you organize your information so that the graphics communicate it effectively? Beth Kanter has terrific resources for producing infographics easily yourself. If you go this route, what has worked well (and not) for your organization? What lessons would you share? Who, specifically, within your organization is charged with this type of communications work–do your policy advocates create the infographics with which they want to communicate with allies and targets? Or do advocates get in-house communications folks the data they need? Or do you work collaboratively?

I would love to see your own examples of infographics that you have created for advocacy, and I would be forever indebted if you’d be willing to actually share some of the back story, too, since that’s what’s missing from the examples I can find online. What prompted the creation of a particular piece? What was the compelling advocacy need that motivated it? How was it received? Did it undergo various revisions before you found the version that really worked?

Thank you, crowd, for all of the assistance this week.

I owe you. A lot.

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