So what’s your point?
The question has its negative connotations, but you and I ask it every day, and so do your constituents and members. In fact, each time we access our mobile devices or social media accounts, we ask it several times a day. As consumers of information, we know exactly what we want—and we’ve become pretty demanding about it, too. If information isn’t compelling and concise, we start to nervously tap our feet, check our watches for the time, and mumble: so what’s your point?
A lot of folks grumble about these new “requirements.” They feel threatened, for example, by Twitter’s 140-character limit. Take the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd for example. In an interview three years ago, she said:
“I would rather be tied up to stakes in the Kalahari Desert, have honey poured over me and red ants eat out my eyes than open a Twitter account.” Hey, wait a minute, Maureen, that’s not very fair. No one said that about the classic novel.
As someone who needs a steady dose of info throughout my day, I first took offense to Dowd’s comments. But then I laughed at her. I, a regular person and definitely not a New York Time’s columnist, had one-upped the Maureen Dowd. I knew more than she did, becoming superior for a brief second, because she most definitely was misinformed. Didn’t she see that getting to the point isn’t a new concept at all?
To honor Dowd’s sentiment, however, I’ll go ahead and get to the point of this post, four whole paragraphs in (yikes!) From ancient haikus to Biblical parables to those old Coca-Cola ads we all love, we’ve been getting to the point for a while now. And most recently, I’ve noticed a graphics-only approach. Forget 140 characters! Try 10 or less.
As they say, infographics are so hot right now. They are everything we want them to be: concise, compelling, and best of all, fun and colorful. For nonprofits, how better to display graph after graph, data point after data point? For instance, nonprofits can use infographics to represent data in an annual report or a even as a case for support of a capital campaign. Daxko jumped on the infographic bandwagon to display our YMCA Trends and Opportunities 2012 survey data. Here are some other examples to whet your appetite:
Are you satisfying or suppressing your members’ need for quick, compelling information? What points are you trying to get across, and how? When can an attention-grabbing infographic benefit your mission?