Is ExxonMobil Greedier than the Government?

We’re doing some behinds the scenes research on what works in infographics. The point of these is to convey a slice of important data in graphical form so it’s a quick read and easy to digest. But what about the title? What influence does that have on your reading of the data? Did this title catch your eye?

What if we had changed our blog title to: Infographics: A Look at the Subtleties of Messaging. Let’s consider that the subtitle for this post.

Recently, we posted the “Should Taxes be MORE than Company Profits” graphic. The leading question in the title is less emotion-invoking than the “greedy” title above. But the goal is the same…to get people to stop and think about how much of business earnings should be given to the government vs invested back in operations (jobs, equipment, new facilities) and dividends (gotta keep the stockholders happy to have access to capital for future needs).

Of course, how we pose the leading question has a lot to do with what people we’re trying to reach. The above title is asked fairly matter-of-factly, even though we added a little emphasis to MORE. But it’s not positioned to be an activist’s spin tool.

The “greedy” title, and the subject of this blog post, “Is ExxonMobil Greedier Than the Government?” refers to the same graphic, same data, but notice how your reaction changes when we introduce a word like greedy.

Hmmm, maybe I’ve found a new calling in life — to expose the spin in politics and hopefully desensitize the public to its effects.

One Comment

  1. […] times more than the company does. So… Is ExxonMobil greedier than the government? Source:   Check out our Premium section. 14 day trial is only […]

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