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Show Don't Tell: The Power of Visual Communication

Use typography, iconography, photography, and visual storytelling to invoke emotion.

Tonight I attended an event hosted by IABC Victoria on the topic "Show Don't Tell - the power of visual communication" featuring Nick Batzias (Managing Partner, Madman Entertainment) and Jon-Paul Jacques (Executive Creative Director, GTB Australia) on the panel.


The panelists explored the usage of typography, iconography, photography, symbols to invoke emotion and association with your brand identity, and how visual storytelling through filmmaking can be used to pitch ideas that otherwise wouldn't have the same impact through other forms of communications.

In my role as an embedded change and communications manager in an operations environment, I draw energy from distilling complexity into a visual blueprint that not only must resonate with "big picture thinking" senior executives, but also be relatable to operations team members. The usage of infographics has become more crucial than ever before in simplifying key messages into bite-sized pieces, and visual storytelling through corporate videos that "show, not tell" and places as much emphasis on the employee journey as the customer journey and organisational objectives.

A couple of infographic resources shared tonight through the panelists and audience were:

  • The Noun Project - search for icons associated with keywords

  • Venngage - infographic template (it's like "Wix" for infographics)

In terms of corporate videos, success is measured in terms of online engagement (views, shares, likes, comments), as well as the emotion it instils in the audience, and how it drives call to action. I'd add that the dialogue it generates is just as important, so be sure to capture verbatim comments / anecdotal feedback as well.

It's now possible to measure employee sentiment through corporate social media channels via text analytics, so consider reaching out to your employee communications teams to see what metrics you can gather on your content engagement.

As they say with the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon - you notice something even more if you become aware of it. Look forward to sourcing more inspiration from other sources of digital media to broaden my infographic repertoire and corporate video filming techniques to communicate with "more show, and less tell".


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© 2020 Yishan Chan