Getting Graphic – sometimes the simplest explanations work best

by Scott Douglas

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Infographics are the web’s favourite way of explaining how stuff works.

The age of Visual Communication

We are in a visual age, so welcome to our essential guide for businesses on how to make the most of Visual Communications. This is PART THREE, where we offer expert tips and insights into the power and benefits of using infographics, with three real examples that helped deliver valuable business success.

Getting Graphic – sometimes the simplest explanations work best

WHAT can your business learn from the classic 1970s sex education tome, The Joy of Sex?

Maybe more than you think, particularly on the issue of using simple infographics to tackle awkward or difficult subjects.

Y’see, everyone dreads that excruciating chat about the “Birds and the bees”, whether as a tongue-tied parent or as a mortified adolescent. Which is presumably why kindly soul Alex Comfort came up with his 1970s book.  To a generation it saved a whole world of embarrassment and discomfort.

In the days before the internet, parents could discreetly pass on the volume to a teenager before making a swift exit. Adolescents would heave a sigh of relief, and pretend to their pals that they already knew everything there was to know anyway.

As an added bonus, everyone got to snigger at the amusing line drawings of a 1970s bearded bloke grappling with his other half. However, here’s the thing, ask anybody of a certain age what they actually remember about The Joy of Sex and it’s those line drawings which almost always spring to mind.

While the often-derided illustrations have gone down in folklore, they are also what set apart The Joy of Sex from similar books of the day. The no-nonsene drawings may have inspired a few guffaws, but they also helped many a young reader to make sense of the accompanying text.

Today the internet helps deal with those awkward sex education moments – it is also the place where the infographic has flourished like never before.

For smart, modern businesses the infographic is a real opportunity: a visual way to share information, data or knowledge that can be the ideal way to get across awkward or complex information in a quick, clear and easy to understand way.

What’s more, the best infographics are shareable and will be passed around by potential customers on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. They also make interesting content for your website.

Here we share a series of  infographics we’ve worked on to help clients achieve important goals. Hopefully that will inspire you to try something new and visual with your business communications:


Panton McLeod diagram - large version

While infographics and visual communications are all the rage in 2015, here at Holyrood PR we were helping clients to explore this medium almost a decade ago.

When we first started working with water quality experts Panton McLeod, their previous attempts to achieve PR success had left them disillusioned – and feeling as though no media would ever be interested in their highly technical work.

In 2005, to help engage the media, we persuaded Panton McLeod to explain their work in a simple infographic. Instead of dry or technical explanations, we believed a visual represenation would make that work easy to understand.

The success was instantaneous, helping us reach previously disinterested journalists who were suddenly far more engaged with Panton McLeod’s work.

Meanwhile, the infographic took pride of place on the Panton McLeod website for a number of years.

Perhaps most tellingly, it was the change in thinking that was needed to give Panton McLeod confidence that they really did have an interesting story to tell.

That laid the groundwork for one of the most successful PR campaigns we’ve been involved with – read the full details here.


PR photogrpahy in Scotland for jeweller Alistir Wood TaitAs both a respected jeweller and an accomplished gemmologist, Alistir Tait was a passionate exponent of Scotland’s homegrown precious and semi-precious stones.

The more he espoused the amazing heritage of Scotland’s native riches – including gold, sapphires and rubies – the more we became convinced an infographic was needed to help explain this little-known aspect of Scotland’s mineral wealth.

After much research, we established there were no other reliable resources explaining the precious stones and metals to be found in Scotland.

So, we used  Alistir’s knowledge to create one.

The map of “Precious Scotland” we produced  on behalf of the jewellers has been hugely popular with downloads and shares across the world – all promoting Alistir Wood Tait Antique and Fine Jeweller on Rose Street, Edinburgh.

In the past year alone, the map has been views more than 4600 times on our website.



warners infographicWhen it comes to selling houses, the team at Warners have been among the most successful firms in Edinburgh and area for well over a decade.

The well-established legal firm consistently comes out at the top end of the success figures drawn up every year by the highly-respected ESPC.

However, Warners never becomes complacent so is always looking for new ways to reach the house hunting public.

Somethimes home seekers don’t want to wade through huge volumen of comparative sales figures – so Warners turned to an informative visual graphic to help customers make sense of the mass of data.

What that showed – in simple easy to understand terms – is that while some rivals may actually list more properties, they simply can’t match Warners for successful sales.


Would you like to get graphic about what makes your business a winner?

Infographics are the perfect accompaniment to tell the story of your business to the widest possible audience.

We’d love you to join the long list of clients who’ve improved profits and sovled other problems through powerful storytelling with help of the experts here at Holyrood PR.

Give us a call at any time on 0131 561 2244 or take a few seconds to fill in the simple form, below, and we’ll get straight back to you.

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    Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

    Scott Douglas

    Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood PR, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
    As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
    Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

    View Scott's Profile

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