Teaching the Infographic Assignment (Slides from the AEJMC 2013 Conference)


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Gee Ekachai, Karen Freberg and I share tips from our exploration into how to teach the infographics assignment.

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  • Tiff: Intro through RQsGee: Method, RQ 1, RQ 2Karen: RQ 3
  • Here is an excerpt of Richard Edelman’s opening remarks to public relations educators at the Edelman Academic Summit last summer [let people read slide]In this “era of big data,” Edelman stressed the importance of training students to work with data and make information meaningful in a visual way (p. 4). In addition to professional encouragement for this assignment, ACEJMC standards call for students to learn how to engage in visual communication and learn how to work with data. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to document perceived learning outcomes that can result from the infographics assignment, as well as best practices for teaching it. Our intention is that our study provides public relations educators with the information needed to decide whether to incorporate the assignment into a class, such as a research class or writing lab.
  • We define infographics as… (read slide).There are four types of infographics.
  • A typical infographic has a headline and various data, such as this one that Dr. Tina McCorkindale used at an IPRRC conference.
  • A typical infographic has a headline and various data, such as this one that Dr. Tina McCorkindale used at an IPRRC conference.
  • A singular infographic consists of one large graphic.
  • A comparison infographic compares items.
  • Finally, aprocess flow infographic illustrates a process.
  • You can see our three research questions here [pause].
  • (Gee) We interviewed a variety of public relations professionals, some of whom gave us permission to use their names. [don’t read slide]
  • And we conducted 5 focus groups with a total of 37 students from our universities.
  • Here are some examples of how PR professionals are using infographics or are planning to use them [don’t read slide].There was a consensus that infographics will always be a part of the public relations toolkit; however, a few thought leaders such as Jason Falls added that they have peaked in popularity, although clients continue to ask for them.
  • Writing: Brevity, ability to choose the most important facts for your audience.Research: Use of original sources, finding the right data. Exception: Students who chose topics that required minimal research, such as a guide to choosing Girl Scout cookies, so a consideration is to build in guidelines to ensure that topics meet a certain level of rigor. Visual storytelling: Ability to tell a story visually and apply visual design principlesJobs: The writing skills have to be there, but if two candidates are equal, the infographic could make a difference.
  • (Karen)
  • Piktochart is a template program for infographics and we’ve included a tutorial as an appendix in the paperStudents with prior InDesign experience preferred InDesign and were less proud of their work that was created using Piktochart
  • Such as the ones we presented earlierWe have several examples you can use from our paper.Such as visually showing the eye where to go, having visual start and stop points, using no more than 2 fonts that are easy to read, using contrast between the font color and background, using emphasis on the numbers through color and size, and being consistent with colors and font sizes.Examples: We have student examples and professionals’ critiques of them we’ll show in a moment.Check the topic and whether you think it lends itself visually to an infographic and check the quality of the data and source citationprior to having students create the infographic
  • The headline tells me the purpose of the infographic.Flip the first two panels for a more coherent narrative.The 2 min. 2 inches is quick and simple. There aren’t a lot of words; it’s easy to digest. There is a good visual story.You can tell what the text is about just by seeing the visuals. There are clear start and stop points. Your eye knows where to go.
  • There are clear start and stop pointsThe closing line could be shorter and the call to action could be clearer, such as “to learn where to take lessons in your area: with the URL.”
  • Teaching the Infographic Assignment (Slides from the AEJMC 2013 Conference)

    1. 1. The Infographics Assignment Tiffany Gallicano University of Oregon @gallicano Gee Ekachai Marquette University @FvrythingPR Karen Freberg University of Louisville @kfreberg A Qualitative Study of Students’ and Professionals’ Perspectives
    2. 2. “We have become a profession that is brilliant with the written word, but we must become a profession that knows how to show as equally as we tell. There is a huge place for deeper, more informative visuals… which infographics… provide.” — Richard Edelman, 2012.
    3. 3. Infographics A form of people can use to in a way that illustrates knowledge, experiences, or events.
    4. 4. Typical Infographic
    5. 5. Typical Infographic
    6. 6. Singular infographic
    7. 7. Comparison infographic
    8. 8. Process flow infographic
    9. 9. Research questions 1.  What are regard to infographics? with 2.  What is the from the perspectives of PR students and professionals? 3.  What can be learned about from PR students and professionals?
    10. 10. Method 15 interviews with public relations professionals •  4 from agencies (boutique and global) •  3 from nonprofits (small and large) •  3 from companies (local and global) •  3 consultants •  2 from government agencies (city and federal)
    11. 11. Method 5 focus groups with a total of 37 students from three universities
    12. 12. RQ 1: Professionals’ experiences •  Use of donations to a nonprofit •  Health and food access disparities •  Employee communication •  Annual reports •  Prospecting tool for new business
    13. 13. RQ 2: Value of the assignment •  Writing skills •  Research skills •  Visual storytelling skills •  Portfolio and job opportunities
    14. 14. RQ 3: Teaching tips – good infographics •  Prune the data to create a narrative arc •  Use visuals that convey the story •  Apply visual design principles •  Use footnotes •  End with a call to action
    15. 15. RQ 3: Teaching tips – software •  PowerPoint and Piktochart are sufficient •  InDesign is good with prior experience
    16. 16. RQ 3: Teaching tips •  Show the different types of infographics •  Discuss professionals’ use of them •  Review design principles •  Critique good and bad examples with the class •  Require a strategic brief
    17. 17. RQ 3: Teaching tips •  Check students’ content in advance •  Encourage peer feedback •  Create a work day after initial drafts to allow for continued feedback
    18. 18. Our infographic is available on #prprofs. Find our paper on the AEJMC website. An infographic strategy brief is on SlideShare. Email Addresses derville@uoregon.edu daradirek.ekachai@marquette.edu karen.freberg@louisville.edu Certain images on this page are the copyrighted property of 123RF Limited, their contributors or licensed partners and are being used with permission under license.