Comics in Public Relations

By: Andrea Mellendorf

We live in a complex world, there’s no denying that. We as consumers often look for more visual options compared to reading words upon words about whatever complex concept we find ourselves tackling that day. As public relations practitioners, it is crucial that we recognize, acknowledge and cater to these habits of consumers.

One way that public relations practitioners can cater to these habits is to use comics as a way to take a complex concept and make it more convenient for a consumer to take in. Yes, comics. Maybe not necessarily the comics people usually think of that feature superheroes saving the day from the latest evil villain, but similar. Utilizing comics in public relations campaigns can create a type of visual collateral that promotes the campaign at hand without taking up too much of a consumer’s time.

Comics are easy to read and even easier to understand, and in the fast-paced society that we live in, that is often what consumers are looking for. If a consumer can be reached via an entertaining comic rather than a traditional advertisement flooding their newsfeed or long news story that they may not have time to read, they may ultimately end up being exposed to a campaign that they otherwise would not have been exposed to.

Comics are colorful, eye-catching and engaging for consumers, thus making them a tactic that public relations practitioners should not forget about. Although they are not a completely traditional tactic used in public relations, they can potentially be a game changer for a campaign. Check out this awesome example of a comic being used in public relations campaigns to get a taste of what I mean:

Source: ebay.co.uk

Source: ebay.co.uk

This poster from an anti-smoking campaign demonstrates one way that comics can be effective in a campaign. The eye-catching poster is easy for a consumer to notice and also carries engaging and entertaining elements to keep a consumer hooked and reading after they initially notice the poster. Comics such as these cater to the society of convenience that we live in because it is a quick way for a person to absorb information.

As I continue into my career as a public relations practitioner I know that I will always keep comics in mind as a potential tactic to use in my campaigns. Like most tactics, comic are not appropriate for every campaign that a practitioner plays a role in, however, they should not be ignored as a potential tactic. The engaging and entertaining elements of comics can change the course of a campaign, and they should not be forgotten about in the world of public relations.

Andrea Mellendorf is a junior public relations and communication double major. She is currently serving as the Vice President of Special Events and Programs for EMU PRSSA, and previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for the chapter. Andrea also serves as a Resident Advisor on Eastern’s campus and as the social media operator for the EMU Honors College, where she manages the college’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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