Last week I had the opportunity to serve on the judging panel for both the National Health Information Awards and the Web Health Awards. This is my second time serving as a judge for Web Health Awards and my third time judging the Health Information Awards. When I first volunteered for this role, I looked at it as a reputation enhancement activity for my firm. But what I quickly learned was that in judging creative work, whether it is editorial or graphic in nature, you learn a lot about your own work. The experience has been highly instructive. I believe that I am a better marketer because of it.
When I have judged editorial work, typically health content appearing in magazines, it has been striking to see how often the information is presented in a non-compelling manner. The content is usually first-rate. But the presentation of the content is often lacking. We often forget that the information has to look interesting if we ever hope to engage consumers and have them read the content. It seems simple, but for me this is always a terrific reminder. You can’t separate form from content. They are equally important.
When preparing health content for publication, think about the ways in which you will engage your audience. A sea of text will turn them off in a heart beat! So what devices will you build into the layout that will help the reader move through the copy? Think about using things like:
At my firm, we think about it in terms of the USA Today approach to delivering information. It is best to give readers the information in small, digestible chucks. The relatively new trend where everyone is producing infographics is certainly in keeping with this philosophy.