The P.I.C.K cognitive model posits that four processes, when simultaneously occurring in multimedia news, can significantly¬†increase¬†the audience’s engagement with – and understanding of – content. As detailed in the left menu, the four components are: (1) personalization, (2) interactivity, (3) contiguity (or coherence of all the media), with minimal (4) “kick-outs” (things that terminate user engagement).

The small, overlapping portion in the center of the diagram to the left represents the precise intersection of the processes and maximum engagement. Each of the four factors in the model often occur in news, but rarely together. It’s this combination that is most effective but challenging for digital storytelling.