How visual engagement and identity can help you navigate the ‘new different’

You’ll often find the pages of our blog filled to the brim with plenty of thought-provoking content. Here, we take a trip down memory lane and revisit the thoughts of someone who wowed us during a virtual ‘lockdown’ conference back in 2020 – Ralph Mann, a visual content specialist at Purple Heron Communication…

To set the scene, did you know that when people follow instructions which are enhanced by illustrations, they do so 323% better than when using text alone – and have six times the memory recall too?

By their very nature, the unique and challenging times we’ve all lived through in recent times are throwing up all sorts of communication conundrums – but critically, a lot more possibilities. Here, Ralph takes a look at a few…

As we catch some sun and maybe take a holiday during August, there will be one thing in the back of many of our minds – a September return to work and the onset of Q4. And, for those working in comms, the big question is how best to communicate with audiences and convince people to engage with brands in these strange new times.

Of course, while this chapter is very much a post-COVID recovery period, the rapidly changing status of the pandemic could also see more lock-downs – and increasing economic insecurity. Therefore, standing out from the crowd has never been so important!

In the wake of the crisis, social media usage has surged to over 60% of its pre-COVID levels, making it apparent that clear, effective digital communication is absolutely key. And, visual content and engagement can make all the difference when it comes to audience engagement on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and your own website.

How can pictures help bring a brand to life?

This is where illustration comes in. Vibrant visuals can help you solve the challenge of bringing words to life – grabbing the attention of bigger audiences, getting content read, maintaining brand engagement and sparking useful discussion and connections amongst your current networks and beyond.

One great example comes courtesy of Action for Happiness, when it needed a visually-engaging solution for communicating its ‘Ten Keys to Happier Living’ campaign to a large, general public audience – as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The resulting content visualisation directly engaged over 200,000 people on social media, bringing positive feedback and the direct impact of wider sharing of A.F.H’s mission and ideas.

Elsewhere, financial planner (and Scriba PR client) Louise Woollard required a new visual identity to showcase her services to a digital audience. She wanted to challenge the stereotype surrounding financial advisors and portray herself as the relaxed and relatable character that she is.

As such, we created an image which combined her love of sport and her dog – and company mascot – Otis. Moreover, it highlighted her values of honesty, integrity and trust which form key factors when helping clients to carefully manage money for some of life’s important moments – such as marriage, children, education, housing and retirement.

More than just a video conference

Recently though, a direct result of the UK-wide lockdown has been the rise in video calls and conferences. Zoom, Hangouts, Teams and Skype meetings have skyrocketed and become a crucial part of navigating a sudden, nationwide shift to remote working.

However, as they have become ever more commonplace, conversations have started to appear less ‘sticky’. All too often we seem to log out of one virtual meeting room and straight into the next – unconsciously overlaying what we have just heard.

But what if you could take a look at a colourful visual, and refresh your memory? That’s exactly what digital graphic recording is designed to do. During the call, participants can see such a summary of their session being composed in a separate window, which aims to capture the essence of what is being discussed.

Once complete, these images then provide a colourful event record which can be shared among those who attended, as well as those who couldn’t. Plus, the eye-catching nature of the content means it can also be posted on your digital channels too – enabling your meeting to live on.

If you’d like to find out more about how digital graphic recording could form part of your next meeting or conference, email Ralph on:

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