Show NOT Tell: The 7 Best Health Infographics of 2013

Did you know that 99% of the information we receive each day is almost immediately filtered out by our brains? In order to be successful, marketers have to determine ways to place their content in the elite 1% that survives; and with visuals being processed 60,000 times faster than text, infographics could be the answer. In the last two years, Google searches for infographics have increased by 800%; they’ve become so popular in fact, we are now creating infographics about infographics!

Infographics are especially useful in an industry like health, which is driven by data and numbers (not exactly content that leaves you on the edge of your seat). Don’t get me wrong, us health communicators have hoards of valuable information to share, but in a world where Miley Cyrus makes more headlines than a potential cure for Alzheimer’s, we have to find ways for our messages to cut through the clutter. Some organizations are leading the charge, mastering the use of infographics for information dissemination. The following are my favorite health-related infographics from 2013, in no particular order. [Full disclosure: I worked on two of these campaigns, though I don’t believe I’m at all biased when I say they were the BEST HEALTH INFOGRAPHICS EVER CREATED IN THE HISTORY OF INFOGRAPHICS, no exaggeration intended.]

  1. The Affordable Care Act: Addressing the Unique Health Needs of Women– Created by the Office on Women’s Health, Hager Sharp Inc. and Palladian Partners to expose women to the five preventive messages of National Women’s Health Week and drive traffic to the Affordable Care Act website, this infographic received top honors in the Best Infographic category of PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards. The three sections of the graphic tell a cohesive story, ending with simple and clear suggestions for women seeking to live healthier lives. This infographic, which reached over 30,000 people on Facebook and had over 1 million Twitter impressions, avoids technical jargon and achieves its goal by communicating the law impacting women in a clean and organized way.
  2. Everything Under the Sun [client]- In an effort to showcase the multitude of services offered 24/7 at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, PadillaCRT created this playground-themed infographic highlighting some of their service statistics. The printed version, which was included in the monthly newsletter distribution, also included a location for emergency numbers, allergy information and medical needs to encourage parents to post it in their homes as a resource for babysitters or family members. It just might earn a coveted spot on the fridge!
  3. How Your iPhone is Harming Your Health Beware Apple fans, your iPhone could be doing more harm than good! This unique infographic from the Huffington Post steps out of the long, skinny box and shows the versatility of the tool. I also love how the HuffPost app gives a nod to self-promotion without being overt about it. Side note: If you have phantom vibration syndrome, you should probably get that checked out!
  4. Meet Today’s Healthcare Consumer– Deloitte’s infographic of their 2012 Survey of U.S. Health Care Consumers gives an inside look into the minds of health consumers – an increasingly important perspective as health care moves towards a more patient-centered model. Deloitte chose a highly relevant topic and continually reminded the reader how the information relates to them.
  5. A Lifetime of Checkups– Thank you Greatist for finally organizing these necessary annual screenings in a way that makes sense! Does anyone else stay up at night wondering when they have to start getting a mammogram? No, just me? Well for anyone else in the same boat, fear not, this infographic aligns top health risks and suggested screenings for every age range. The good news… I’m in the clear for another 15 years!
  6. Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities [client]- Our client, American Physical Therapy Association, partnered with Huff/Post50 to create this infographic which visually communicates the results of our survey to find the fittest U.S. cities for baby boomers. Facebook posts related to the infographic had a 15% click rate and the media loved the visual content it added to our pitches. If there are two things the media loves, they are infographics and lists (like this one)!
  7. 10 Strange Ways to Stay Healthy– Tonight you should have a glass of red wine while watching a comedy with friends, then floss before having sex… trust me, it’s good for your health! This infographic from Everest not only has great content, sharing some lesser-known ways to maintain your health, but I love that a higher education group is using an infographic about health tips to promote their medical assistant program. Talk about thinking outside the box!

The facts are simple, infographics are easy to understand and visually engaging, and with 65% of the population being visual learners, they might just be the key to effectively catching our audience’s eye in today’s attention deficit world.

Have you created any great infographics lately? We’d love to see them. Tell us about your creative genius in the comments!

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