Friday, August 19, 2005

The Emotional Tug for Affective PR

In developing the Relationship Value Model, I used research into journalists' reporting of actors to identify key concepts in their articles using LSA. Some of these concepts were explicit and so are, according to the theory, 'tokens'. The explicit notions were nouns and verbs. But there were other concepts that were adjectives and adverbs. It occurred to me to look at these again to see if they were really expressions, identified by the journalists, of emotional values.

In most of research by psychologists, there tends to be a lot of post cognition rationalisation but research by Heath and Nairn claim that affective copy, that is copy with an emotional tug, is much more effective. This idea has been around for some time and is an extension of the 'Emotional Selling Proposition'. Some leaders in Brand thinking like Martin Linstrom and Wendy Gordon not to mention many interesting psychologists like Elizabeth Kensinger (pictured above) can rationalise this approach through neuropsycological reserach and a wide view of brand promotion (remembering that, brand promotion is absolutely dependant on relationships).

Given that advertising is very limited in the range of touchpoints it can deploy, and that is is inappropriate for much communication. This is a baton that should be taken up by PR practitioners. Master this idea and we master relationship management, wealth creation and, as a by-product, improve all the processes for every domian of PR practice.

A study of Elizabeth's work is rewarding and is a very significant finding for the practice of public relations as applied using the Relationship Value Model.

I have some way to go, but there is evidence that this is so.

As we know, emotional values have a much stronger effect than other forms of information. Perhaps, in planning our communication, we need to pay close attention to these emotional elements. Watch this space.