Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crash course in mastering corporate communication visuals!

For some reason it seems like illustrations and how pictures can be used to convey messages across cultures has been a topic I touch upon from time to time here. One reason is of course that my good friend Martin has this as his profession and is something that he constantly works with.

But this time I thought I should, completely for free, offer everyone some instructions on how you can become a master of utilizing images to reinforce the message in a corporate communications environment. In fact, the images you need to have available at your disposal are very few and if you use them correctly you can become a master of internal communications, the medium would most likely be some form of coporate intranet or newsletter. I will now show you the four images that you need to master and instruct you in the proper use.

1. The Trophy
The Trophy is a very powerful image and should be utilized in cases when a big tender has been won or a significant objective achieved. As a concrete example the trophy could be used to illustrate an article with the heading “Norwegian subsidiary breaks sales record”. The image can be used with or without hands holding it, hands are preferably included since it also gives an image of teamwork.
2. The Handshake
The handshake is also a very powerful tool and should be used when you need to illustrate something related to teamwork, it can be used for both internal situations when illustrating some work that is conducted across the company and can also be used to illustrate external teamwork with another company, research site or similar. For rare cases it can be used to illustrate large sales deal, but only if the trophy has been used very recently and is best not used.

3. The man climbing a graph
Another very useful and powerful image to be used when illustrating something in progress where the final result is not yet known (but the trophy would likely be used) but to show how hard people are working and how they are heading for success. A concrete example could be to use it in an article discussing how the Iceland subsidiary has made an ambitious plan on how to start marketing canned whale meat and how the company supports this. Please note that this picture needs to be of a man, a woman cannot be used.

4. The Computer
The final image you need to master is the computer, this is the jack-of-all-trades for you, you can use that to illustrate all the things that do not fit any of the images above. It can be used for all those "rental car provider has changed" and "please use this travel agent" or "new meeting tools available" or whatever you can imagine, just use the computer image.

These are all the images you need to master and remember that everything is progress and that there is no such things as negative trends!


Karen said...

Oh, this is oh soooooo true. And yes, Mr. Salaryman, I will take that bait. Why, pray tell, can't the woman's picture be used?

jlpt-2kyu said...

In Japan, the women are swimming around in that brown tea at the bottom of the graph, cleaning up and taking long vacation to have babies and other such useless activities.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Karen - Well, wow, I just don't know what to say... A woman? That would be unheard of and I would not dare... The only thing I can think of is to use a picture where a man and a woman are climbing together and the man is helping the woman upwards. But here the man must be first...

Jlpt - Well, in one way the Japanese are probably a bit more straightforward, this is more US style corporate communications such as my company is adapting

Karen said...

Here all we ladies were worrying about government policy toward us and I see we must seize control of corporate communication cliches. To the ramparts -er, drawing tables!

Anonymous said...

Aaaah, noo, corpcomvisuals! Thats one of the reasons I changed from a multinational to a small Swedish one..

Anonymous said...

I guess that makes me the foreign salaryman in Sweden?!

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