Content with a strong visual component is more likely to be read. But visuals often remain an after-thought in the world of PR, where time or budget constraints mean many consultants simply reach for the nearest stock photo or generic corporate image after they’ve developed a piece of written content.
I think doodles and hand drawn sketches should play a bigger role in bringing our stories to life and highlighting key points.
They’re more authentic
Drawings done by hand add authenticity and humanness to content. In a world drowning in contrived stock photos and perfectly polished corporate images and designs, the imperfect sketch or casual doodle is refreshing and stands out.
While stock photos can work in certain contexts — especially now that a few good quality, local stock photo services are available; they don’t need to be your only option if you need a good visual to bring your story to life.
They’re cost effective
You can afford to create doodles and sketches on even the smallest budgets. Whether you do them yourself or get a professional to help, they don’t take too long to create. Most people think they can’t draw but with some practice and guidance, almost anyone can. Dan Roam’s book, ‘The back of a napkin’ is a great read on visual thinking and provides tools to help you convey ideas through pictures.
Great for stats
People love stats and figures and they add credibility to content. But in an age where most of us are scanners, they’re often lost in the text and don’t get seen. Also, our brains are quite bad at processing numbers unless we’re given some sort of context to put them into perspective. Simple sketches can solve both these problems. They can make your key stats memorable.
You actually can’t do without visuals anymore
Human attention spans are shrinking, and have dropped on average from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2013, according to a Microsoft study. Getting people to read stuff is getting harder as more and more sources of information compete for their attention.
Content with relevant visuals is 94% more likely to be read. And the more authentic, locally relevant and interesting the visual is, the better. Hand-drawn pictures can help you tick all three boxes.