Wednesday, 20th February 2013
Multimedia elements not only can make your communications more visually appealing, but they can also convey information in ways your words never could. Pila Martinez explains how the key is to match the multimedia with the content and provides some useful tips to help make your communications more compelling.
It's a safe bet that the first written communication any of us laid eyes on was a storybook. When we were very young, the books we loved had a skewed word-to-picture ratio, with the illustrations taking up most of the page and the text relegated to only one line, maybe two. Since we couldn't read, those images drew us in and helped tell the story. And even when we could read, our schoolbooks still offered pictures to help us grasp concepts, remember details and round out our understanding of a topic.
Make Facts Fly off the Page... or Tug at Heartstrings
So how does this relate to our working environment? Well, remember back then how the pictures engaged us, entertained us and enlightened us? Well they still do. If you're authoring an article, rather than rely on the publication to find images, why not take some photographs or even record some video and send it in along with the words? How much more interesting and engaging could your report to the board be if you included some images or infographs? Some of the leaders in the field of making big data comprehensible already use these techniques to great effect. David McCandless' book 'Information is Beautiful' is full of inspiration, as are his talks for the likes of TED.
No matter how much your writing might sing, it could very well be doomed to a fate of silence when competing with flashier, brighter brethren. Without any visual elements, most types of written communications are just rows and rows of black letters that blur into a grey mass. Many of us don't even use simple textual elements such as change of font size, font colour, columns or bold to highlight elements of our written word. This is true for internal communications, news releases, white papers, news articles, blog entries and most any other kind of writing.
Multitude of "Apportunity" for Multimedia
So how can you help make your communications more compelling, ensure that they're better read and more appealing? How can you break up that word cloud while helping drive your messages home? Multimedia.
The internet and the explosion of apps mean that today we're somewhat spoilt for choice when it comes to multimedia. Gone are the days when it would be confined pretty much to photos, video and audio. Nowadays we can - and should - still offer those options but we can also easily create our own infographics, record and edit our own videos using free software, develop animations and illustrations, or delve into the many high quality image databases online - from free-to-use sources like the Creative Commons to commercial concerns such as iStockphoto or Getty Images (which also offers a music and video database).
These fantastic resources also allow us to place more consideration on the different styles of learning inherent in individuals, which also apply to the way we approach communications generally. So we can add some pictures and images to make them appeal to those who are more geared to the visual or spatial, use some infographs for those of a mathematical or logical bent, and so on. (Read more about the seven learning styles here.)
Take Time to Plan for Optimum Effect
For all of these types of multimedia, there are some common things you should consider. Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding whether multimedia is right, and which kind would work best.
If you're interested in reading more about non-text communication, then the FreePint resources below and Pila's full article 'Enliven Your Communications with Multimedia' will be of interest.
Related Blog items:
Related Subscription Articles:
Document the value chain, and transform the way you think about, manage and report on your product portfolio and your information service contributions to your organisation goals.
Focus on Value Chain
Risk assessment is a required process for a healthy information department. It gauges the ability of your services, team, portfolio and overall value to withstand stress.
Focus on Risk Assessment
Sorry, there seems to be a problem with Webinar and Community listings. Please let us know, by email to email@example.com. Thank you.
Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.
Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams
Supercharge remote productivity and value
Holistic content portfolio management
Future-proof your information service
A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.
Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.
Read case studies, and start the conversation:
Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.
A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.