Beyond Internal Communications - Influence and Persuasion

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  • Persuasive Communications How little interventions can create wide ranging impact

    Aniisu K Verghese


  • Let us look at some scenarios?

  • What can explain the rush for telegrams?

    Last-minute rush as India stops telegram service after 162 years

  • Why are images of Gods used to prevent people from urinating in public?

  • Why do recruiters look at your Linkedin profile or for endorsements?

  • Why do we believe such endorsements?

  • Why is there a Like button on Facebook posts?

  • Six Universal Principles of Social Influence

    Reciprocation (we feel obligated to return favors performed for us) Authority (we look to experts to show us the way) Commitment/Consistency (we want to act consistently with our

    commitments and values) Scarcity (the less available the resources, the more we want it) Liking (the more we like people, the more we want to say yes to

    them) Social proof (we look to what others do to guide our behavior) Cited in Yes! 50 Secrets From the Science of Persuasion, Noah J Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini (2007)

  • The Infomercial: Which one will motivate you to call in?

    Operators are waiting. Please call now.

    If operators are busy, please call again

    The principle of social proof

  • If you dont hear from us, dont despair. - Google Glass

    Thank you so much to everyone who applied to be a Glass Explorer. We have been overwhelmed, entertained and inspired by your responses. #ifihadglass is now closed and we will be notifying successful applicants soon. If you dont hear from us, dont despair! There will be more chances to get Glass at a later date. If you would like to stay informed about Glass, you can sign up here.

    Scarcity factor

  • Hotel towel re-use case: which message got the best response?

    "Help the hotel save energy"

    "Help save the environment"

    "Partner with us to help save the environment"

    "Help save resources for future generations"

    "Join your fellow citizens in helping to save the environment"


    The principle of social proof

  • The car wash case

    How to help people overcome fear of change

  • Connect on an individual level for better impact

    Food shortages in Malawi are affecting more than 3 million children

    In Zambia, severe rainfall deficits resulted in a 42% drop in maize production from 2000. As a result, an estimated 3 million Zambians face hunger

    Four million Angolans 1/3rd of population have been forced to flee their homes

    More than 11 million people in Ethiopia need immediate food assistance

    USD 1.14

    When primed with statistical data (calculations) people got into an analytical frame of mind and less charitable.

    Any money that you donate will go to Rokia, a seven-year-old girl from Mali, Africa. Rokia is desperately poor and faces the threat of severe hunger or even starvation.

    Her life will be changed for the better as a result of your financial gift. With your support, and the support of other caring sponsors, Save the Children will work with Rokias family and other members of the community to help feed and educate her and provide basic medical care and hygiene education.

    USD 2.38

    When primed to feel (words like baby) they gave more.

    Source: Made to Stick. Chip and Dan Heath (2008). Arrow Books

    If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will Mother Theresa

  • The labeling technique

    There is a lot of good in you

    We trust that you will adhere to the policy

    We believe your behavior is consistent with our values

    Election case: assigning a belief, trait, attitude to the person and then making a request that is consistent with that label

    Those labeled and requested were 15% more likely to align to the ask

    Should be used only ethically ONLY when the label is actually consistent with the person

    Cited in Yes! 50 Secrets From the Science of Persuasion, Noah J Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini (2007)

  • Repetition can increase trust

    When people were exposed to messages that werent qualified as true or false for at least 3 times they tended to believe in them.

    zip fasteners were invented in Norway

    Decisive Chip and Dan Heath (2013)

  • 1 in 7 communication redundant. Those repeated often in different medium

    enhanced effectiveness Study by Tsedal Neeley (Harvard Business School) and Paul Leonard

    (Northwestern University) who followed 13 managers in 6 companies for over 2500 hours

    What they discovered: Instead of being wasteful repetition ENHANCED effectiveness of what managers said. It DID NOT increase productivity but DECREASED time to get the job done and REDUCED blow-ups and managers working in CRISIS mode.

    So what: Clarity of communication isnt the only important thing. To communicate urgency and to stay on top of mind, dont hesitate to repeat yourself.

    Source: As Many Times as it Takes, The Economic Times on Sunday, March 25-31, 2012. Available at: (downloaded on April 4, 2012)