Infographics are a great way to get the attention of people who have no attention spans anymore.
By Steve Crescenzo
Infographics have been taking the corporate communication world by storm. As attention spans get smaller and smaller, communicators are struggling with how to present complex information in easy-to-digest formats. And a good infographic can often be the answer. Lori MacKenzie and her creative team of communicators and designers who work for the city of Aurora in Colorado, found this out when faced with the challenge of trying to communicate the city’s total compensation plan to employees. They wanted employees to understand that total compensation goes a lot further than just salary—and also show them how the city’s compensation plan compared with other organizations in the Aurora area.
To capture all that information and convey it an easy-to-understand format, she partnered with HR to get the data, and then graphic artists to come up with the design. Though it’s too early for any hard measurement numbers, she has gotten great anecdotal feedback from people who appreciated the information and the way it was presented. Low Hanging Fruit (LHF) asked Lori a few questions about the process, and the lessons she learned.
LM: Everything was done in house from start to finish—including printing. Our communications team met initially with human resources to get the data and then we worked with our graphic artists to brainstorm and come up with the creative design.
LHF: Do you have any measurement numbers on whether or not it worked? Even anecdotal evidence? What kind of feedback did you get?
LM: We don’t have hard numbers, but we did receive feedback. Employees definitely read the information and found the format to be eye-catching. A few employees who are unhappy about the fact that raises have been minimal for many years didn’t like the fact that we were pointing out the total value of their compensation package, but at least we know they read it.
LHF: Why did you do it? How did you know there was a need for this information?
LM: As I mentioned, salary increases have been fairly slim (or non-existent) for many years. However, at the same time, the city has continued to absorb increased costs for our health care benefits. We are also fortunate to have paid vacation time and sick leave, and a solid defined benefit retirement plan. There was a need to help employees truly understand the entire value of their compensation package, and not just their salary.
LHF: Why the infographic approach, instead of the standard article/poster/brochure? And where did this appear? How did people see it?
LM: We had some success with a report to the public we produced earlier in the year as an infographic. We thought it was important to do something like that for our employees that cut through the clutter of standard internal memos and handouts. We printed posters that were hung in all employee break rooms at all of our facilities throughout the city. We also posted the piece on our employee intranet.
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About Steve Crescenzo: Through his work as a consultant, writer and seminar leader, Steve Crescenzo has helped thousands of communicators improve both their print and electronic communication efforts.