The Value of Infographics in Sustainability Communications


Sustainability Communications InfographicWhat do your stakeholders really know about your sustainable business actions?   How do employees really feel about corporate sustainability messages? How do other stakeholders, as in suppliers, investors, and partners learn and take eco action on your CSR and sustainability communications?

Many corporate communications teams share the frustration in publishing information related to sustainability activities yet wondering what actions can be tracked as a result of that communications sharing.   True, it is a given that communication challenges exist.  Complicate that with the disconnect between a corporate sustainability plan and how that vision and action plan is meaningful in stakeholder’s lives, you have to ask,  how do you pair corporate communications with stakeholder engagement to make business sustainability work?  One means is the use of infographics.

Infograpahics, “data visualizations that present complex information quickly and clearly”  have been included in communications for a while now but recently, they’ve been embraced in social media for sustainability communications.  

Infographics are visual presentations of information that use the elements of design to display content. Infographics express complex messages to viewers in a way that enhances their comprehension.  From a sustainability perspective, this is especially important.  Part of the challenge is the definition of sustainability. How do you define it?  What does sustainability mean to an organization or industry?   

Infographics help contextualize sustainability concepts of energy efficiency, waste management, fair trade, and other related information that hopefully inspires us to eco action.  

The post, 120 Sustainability Report Infographics, by Elaine Cohen shares best practices of infographics in sustainability reporting.  Including, “the most popular, are the ones that summarize performance highlights across a range of metrics, hoping that adding a few icons to the numbers will make the numbers more palatable. Then there are those infographics that turn simple graphs into works of art – so fifty thousand people becomes lots of little talking heads all across the page, or $50,000 becomes loads of little money bags. Other popular graphics are used to show the supply chain, or the value chain, in a cool way. Then there are infographics that tell stories, supporting case studies in reports, or trying to. Finally, there are infographics that do nothing more than add color to a page or highlight a number or two in big and bright colors.”

There is growing power in visual storytelling. As Iliyana Stareva  points out in her post, How to Become a Break Through Storyteller

[Infographic].  “We live in an attention and information overload economy; we don’t know how to deal with this huge mass of information, which is why attention is now the main currency.”  

Infographics capture that attention and communicate sustainability concepts quickly and in meaningful ways.  How is your organization using visual storytelling to advance the sustainability conversation?  Need help?  Begin the creative process of sustainable storytelling via social media engagement – contact us today.

 

By | 2016-11-12T11:52:43+00:00 April 6th, 2016|Corporate Communications & PR|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leveraging 15 years of business development, marketing, and communications expertise in the Energy, Medical, and Information Technology industries, Julie now consults and advises clients on purpose driven stakeholder communications in the social space. Specialty areas include a variety of issues intersecting between environmental stewardship, sustainable business practices, and the bottom-line benefits of sustainability strategies. Julie leverages a BA in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and IT studies from Southern Methodist University to meet the social, technological, environmental business objectives of Taiga’s clients.