When developing a communications plan, you want to draw on a diverse series of persuasive tools in order to hammer your message across.
There’s one word that captures the gamut of tactics you can use: SEDATE (apologize if this sounds a bit like brainwashing).
Statistics: Numbers are one of the most persuasive tools in public relations. Quantitatively qualifying any statement goes a long way. We live in a metric society and if you can’t utilize the power of numbers, your message isn’t as strong as it could be.
Example: Convey to an audience specific examples to illustrate how something works in the real world. The cell phone industry has created a great image for themselves when you hear stories about how lives were saved just because someone had their cell phone (and cell service) at the right time.
Demonstration: Demonstrations are often persuasive in anything related to science or technology. Walking reporters through a new technology or giving a demonstration is much more effective than trying to put that experience into words.
Analogy: An analogy can be extremely powerful. Harris Wofford did an analogy comparing criminals and lawyers to ‘working Americans’ and doctors…anytime you can associate the image of something to another image more closely related to your image objective, you’ve made progress.
Testimonials: A real person who can tell their story is always more persuasive than an expert or some other talking head. It’s one thing to tell people that the nationwide nursing shortage is hurting patient care. It’s an entirely different message to hear when it comes from a compassionate looking woman in a white nurse’s outfit or from an ailing patient.
Experience: More than likely, if you’re telling a story, there are people who can relate. Find these stories and understand how people’s experiences shape their understanding of the issue. You’ll not only become a better writer, but will be able to craft a better message.
Also published on Medium.