Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
September 29, 2010

Art of Simplicity: Streamline and Strip Away Messages for Today’s Information-Deluged World

The fire hose of information spewing through the gazillion new media channels has made it much harder to get a message through to any audience. Your audience, increasingly, just wants to be left alone.

One of the factors that hinders our message to connect with our audiences is “The curse of knowledge.” Yes, sometimes our knowledge can curse us!

In the 1960s, JohnF. Kennedy said:

“We’ll put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.”

If Kennedy was a CEO of our times, he would have said something like:

“Our mission is to build the most sophisticated space shuttles and to invest strategically in nurturing our human capacity in order to expand to new frontiers so we can land on the moon and achieve leadership in space.”

Which one would you remember better?

Connect and Persuade in an Information-Deluged World

The more we reduce the amount of data in our ideas, the easier we can reach our audience. Sentences are better than paragraphs, two points are better than five.

Other persuasion tactics include going after hearts, then minds; telling persuasive stories; talking with — not to — your audience; and planting the right motives.

There are nine psychological types of appeals through which we can move the audience, the motive being:

  1. Self-preservation
  2. Financial gain
  3. Love
  4. Sexuality
  5. Desire for power and fame
  6. Fear
  7. Revenge
  8. Freedom of body and soul
  9. Desire to create or build in material or thoughts, and when to use each

Moving audiences to action can be possible by planting one or more of the above motives.

Mahmoud Arafa, president and creative director, Designframe USA, develops unique communication solutions and offers high standard concepts, designs, photography, website development, writing, editing, translation and production. Mahmoud helps clients to evolve from entrepreneurs to enterprises, from local to global and from inception to infinity. Prior to starting Designframe, Mahmoud was an art director at International Business Associates. In addition to his contribution to the corporate world, Mahmoud is passionate about working for a good cause. He has developed compelling communication tools to alleviate people’s suffering, combat diseases and raise funds for nonprofits. Mahmoud’s work has been acknowledged by world leaders such as former French President Jacques Chirac, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Charles. He attended the London College of Communications with further studies in persuasions. Follow Mahmoud on LinkedIn or on Twitter @mfarafa.

Join Mahmoud for “Simplicity and Persuasion: Move Your Audience to Action,” at the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress, October 16–19 in Washington, D.C.!

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