The need for visual storytelling in the digital age

As a PR student in the UO journalism school, I have been learning how to tell stories in an interesting and insightful way since I entered the program. After four years in college I still find it difficult to strategically place my words in a cohesive way without seeming like my brain vomited all over my paper. To deter from this happening the J school advises us to tell stories with our words, to make it meaningful, concrete, and easy to follow.

I have found that sometimes the best way to think of a paper, article, blog post or whatever I’m writing is like painting a picture. I start with the basics, a paint brush or keyboard, and start throwing paint on the blank canvas. I may not start out knowing what I want my finished product to look like, but it comes together with the details. In some ways, storytelling is done better with design in mind.

In an article from PR News Online,

A vitimin infographic designed by David McCandless

A vitimin infographic designed by David McCandless

an MDG Advertising study has shown that content featuring compelling images gages 94 percent more total views than those without.  The article highlights some key points about the perks of visual storytelling.

  • Consumers are exposed to 5,000 brand messages a day. This poses the question, what makes your message stick, and how? The article argues that visual storytelling does.
  • Traditional advertising and messaging are out the window. The new form of communicating is through holistic storytelling.
  • Technology has radically shaped the way we communicate. Being constantly connected allows for tons of brand messages to be shoved in our faces on the daily. This enhances the need for quality visual and interesting content that sticks out amongst the crowd.
  • Distribution strategy is just as important as high-fidelity visual content. Micro-targeting is the best technique to en
    A beer infographic by popchartlab

    A beer infographic by popchartlab

    sure that your message is received by the right audience.

Data visualizations are a great example of compiling tons of information into a pretty little picture. The good ones are concise, hit all the right points, and are packed with only critical information. They are user friendly in the sense that they provide the most needed facts in an easy to read format. It’s easier to find the information your looking for in a data visualization than skimming through a dense article.


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