Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Framed for more effective PR

OK so you read it here first. The idea of Social Frames is becoming more relevant after results from A team at University College London claimed to be able to tell how well memory will serve us before we have seen what we will remember.

Scans of brain activity, published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience, indicate that the brain can actually get into the 'right frame of mind' to store new information.

They also suggest that we perform at our best if the brain is active not only at the moment we get new information but also in the seconds before.

For some time I have been working on an approach that can help us to understand what to say, when to say and how to say in a dialogue for optimum effect.

Lead researcher Dr Leun Otten from UCL Psychology and the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience said: "It sounds a bit like clairvoyance in the sense that we're able to predict whether someone will remember a word before they even see it." But we are now understanding how important it is to for time, place and content to chime with the audience. In other words to be available in the public's social frame.

The idea behind social frames can be summed up like this: Being in the right place (shop or bath) with the right interactive capability (shop assistant or bar of soap) with the right values in mind (I'm in a shopping mood), will have the greatest effect.

Leun says: "That's really new - scientists knew that brain activity changes as you store things into memory but now we have found brain activity that tells how well your memory will work in advance."

What this means is that to have the best effect, PR communication needs to be presented into the right environment: through an appropriate communication channel and couched in terms that resonate with culture of the public involved.

Picture: Mechanical Mirage