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Opinion

An infographic on how to make a good infographic

 Found this on Visual.ly recently:

Making Good Infographics

I think I might print it out and stick it on my wall for all to see. It’s a bit on the long side, but it just goes to show you shouldn’t cut corners if you want your infographic to do a great job.

Opinion

Daydream believer

I have come to the conclusion that I am an advertiser’s dream.

Now, before you get all hot and bothered about how much of a megalomaniac that makes me sound, hear me out:

I am gullible.

I’ll believe anything an advert tells me. Why would it lie or bend the truth? As a healthcare copywriter, there are strict rules I must abide by when writing about products. So my brain mistakenly assumes the same is true for all copy, pharmaceutical or not.

Latest diet craze? I’m there like swimwear.

Shorts that help you spot reduce fat? I’ll have 2 pairs please. (seriously Suzanne? You fell for that one?)

An elixir that promises eternal youth? Oh go on then.

Even when there’s isn’t an overt promise, I find myself imaging exactly how my life will be transformed by this product.

“Feeling good starts from within”…oh, I must eat more yogurt…by tomorrow I’ll be bouncing out of bed full of joie de vivre, go for a quick 5 mile run before returning home to my cherubic family, their rosy cheeks and eager smiles greeting me as they sit peacefully eating porridge at the breakfast table (reality: none of my children eat porridge peacefully and they are only cherubic when they sleep).

“Flying in the face of ordinary”…oh, that’s what we need. A holiday. Using that airline to get us to our destination. I’ll wear a classic and understated outfit that exudes glamour, in a classic and understated way of course. We’ll probably be upgraded to first class. We’ll arrive at our exotic destination rested and looking fabulous, ready to embrace adventure and discovery. What fun! (reality: we tend to be that family on the aeroplane. You know, the one with at least one screaming child, looking like nervous wrecks and smelling of vomit and hand sanitiser).

But isn’t that the fabulous thing about advertising? Those swift, little daydreams a good ad can inspire. Good advertising doesn’t just sell the sausage, it sells the sizzle. It sells you a dream, which, if you’re like me, you buy into lock, stock and barrel.

I know I’m gullible. But maybe, just maybe, a copywriter needs a dose of gullibility to believe in the products they wax lyrical about? That’s my excuse anyway.

Now, who needs some sausages? I’ve got a fridge full of amazing sausages, organic of course. From a pig called Betsy. She lived a lovely life, snuffling out windfall apples in a pretty little orchard, with a cosy little barn to protect her from the elements and happy hens to keep her company. But when you put those sausages in a frying pan…

 

Opinion

Tools for procrastinating freelancers

Many creatives I know are easily distracted. There we are, busy writing/designing/art directing when *ping* an interesting email pops into your inbox. Of course, being the inquisitive type, you immediately check it. It could be an offer of work, that amazing project you’ve always dreamed of, or notification that all your outstanding invoices have been paid with an extra 10% added on for good measure (because you’re worth it). But no, it’s an email from your creative partner enthusing about a blog/you-tube video/article they’ve just seen that you must simply turn your attention to immediately.

So you do. You have a look. Then quickly check your news feed for any interesting articles…pop into twitter for quick exchange of banter…click on an interesting link…check Facebook to see if so-and-so has had that baby yet…browse the BBC website for anything interesting…and before you know it, you’ve wasted an hour  far too much time pissing around online.

So what’s the answer? Well, you could switch off your internet completely of course, but being a freelancer, I often find I need to know there are other people out there (albeit in the virtual world of social media) that I can interact with if I need a spot of distracting inspiration.

So thank goodness for the Pomodoro technique. It’s been a revelation to me. I installed a Chrome extension a couple of days ago and I love it. It restricts the usage of popular website sites for 25 minute chunks of time before permitting a 5 minute unrestricted ‘break time’.

Genius! There’s absolutely no stopping me now. Unless you catch me in a Pomodoro permitted break of course…

tomato-01
From http://www.pachd.com/free-images/food-images-7.html

 

Opinion

KOL infographic videos

I was lucky enough to be at the filming of a new KOL infographic video today. I must admit, I do love this part of my job. Hearing and seeing a script I’ve written come alive on the big screen gives me goosebumps.

The KOL was an absolute dream to work with. A bit of a thesp in a previous life, he was a natural in front of the camera and delivered the script with authority and passion. Goosebumps I tell you.

By 5pm we had the rushes and I cannot wait until the team weave some magic into that film with graphics and animation.

Here’s a peak at a fabulous infographic video, that shows just how engaging they can be:

Opinion

An infographic for the scientific geek (including myself in that category obviously)

 I'm a big fan of a good infographic. They tell a story, draw you in and communicate messages very effectively. Here's one I stumbled across today that appealed to the wannabe CSI inside me:

The CSI Effect: Fact vs. Fiction
by ejfox. Browse more data visualization.
When you combine infographics, video and and key opinion leaders, the results can be pretty darn cool. For some truly stunning infographic videos, I know just the people. These guys are innovators and pioneers of the infographic video in pharma land. Check them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Opinion

Glaucoma – The silent thief of sight

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a healthcare copywriter in possession of a brief for a particular therapy area almost immediately notices symptoms frightening similar to those they are writing about.

Some might say it is the writer’s version of method acting. Immersing yourself in a subject brings certain things to the attention of your conscious mind, things that you would normally dismiss. This can be helpful if you are writing emotive copy, designed to evoke empathy from your reader. But if you’re prone to the odd bout of hypochondria, it merely serves to raise your blood pressure.

This past month has been dominated by writing about glaucoma. So it was no surprise that on Saturday morning I awoke to discover my right eye swollen shut and my left eye distinctly unhappy. To be fair, these symptoms bore no resemblance to those associated with glaucoma in any way, shape or form. Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight because it can develop so slowly and with very little warning, patients rarely notice it. Very cleverly, your brain compensates for the blind spots in your vision by filling in the gaps. Unfortunately, this often results in ‘seeing’ things that are not there in reality.

But in my case, it was simply my overactive imagination running slightly amok coupled with a stubborn feline that ignores my strict instructions to stay off my bed. But take myself to the optician I did, post-haste. Hypochondria? Maybe, but when it comes to looking after the windows of the soul, there’s no point taking any chances is there?

Quite fancy a new pair of spectacles anyway.