If there was any doubt left in anyone’s mind, the recent Kony 2012 video phenomenon should make one thing clear:
Emotional advocacy > Rational discourse
You can see the same idea at work in the titles on the NYTimes bestsellers list today: Becoming China’s Bitch (“Solutions to the challenges that threaten America”) and Indivisible (“An examination of politics, faith and culture from a Christian perspective”) jump to mind.
Want to make a point? Here’s your simple, 3 step process for how to do it:
- Make a single point.
- Use emotionally-charged imagery and storytelling techniques.
- Go to the extreme.
You can’t sway people with facts anymore because the idea that people are going to spend an hour developing an intelligent opinion before engaging in rational debate is dead. Or in a coma, anyway. We’re acting fast, and fast action is emotional action for most people. To sway them, you’ve got to meet them where they are. Appeal to their hearts, not their heads.
Welcome to the Age of Advocacy.
Which raises an important question for each of us:
What do you stand for?
Jason Seiden is CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing. Ajax amplifies brands by aligning employees' online messaging.