November 26, 2009
2 Comments

Guest lecture to PR students in Hong Kong

HKBU PR students

On November 10th, I was honoured to address PR students in the Communications School of Hong Kong Baptist University. I was invited and hosted by the distinguished Dr. Flora Hung as well as the wonderful Dr. Regina Chen. The theme of the speech was “Building modern PR campaigns and telling digital stories in the age of social technology.” Feel free to download a copy by clicking the screen shot below:

Pickard presso on building modern PR campaigns

It was my best effort to ‘connect the dots’ between my own two decades of communications consulting experience and the ideas of thinkers like Gerald Zaltman (re. metaphors tapping into the unconscious mind), Martin Lindstrom (re. neuromarketing and ‘unconscious’ storytelling), Dale Carnegie (re. making people feel important in conversations) and Robert Cialdini (re. the psychology of persuasion).

These are the key points made in the presentation:

  • No brainer: the mind is the key issue when it comes to PR.
  • The unconscious mind is more powerful than the conscious mind.
  • The emotions of the unconscious mind determine PR success, not the rational logic of the conscious mind.
  • Metaphors communicated through storytelling tap into the unconscious mind where people make decisions.
  • PR pros need to design and conduct campaigns accordingly.
  • Unfortunately, the ‘storytelling zone’ of news journalism (which has also been the province of PR people interacting with reporters) is shrinking as the traditional news media business plummets.
  • So marketers and their money are migrating to the entertainment media and social media spheres, where stories can be told directly to consumers.
  • Nowadays every company can create its own content and tell its own stories, like a media company.
  • Digital is now changing narratives; new stories are actually being co-created via conversations with people online.
  • Understanding the ‘psychology of persuasion’ within networked contexts is a key skill for modern communicators.
  • PR people of the future must think like story writers and media content programmers.

HKBU PR students

2 Comments
  1. I think the best PR people always did think like story writers. They were successful because they understood the needs of the journalists – both the writers and the producers and editors. Over the past decade, this has become more hands-on, where the PR people have to actually be writers, editors and producers some times.

  2. Great post! The art of narrative persuasion will never cease to be effective, regardless of developments in social technology. That’s why anecdotes are still my favorite types of leads in a news article. Stories are relatable to the human condition, so they draw you in. Storytelling in a digital age will be an obstacle for some people and companies, but more people are using video to tell their stories and have seen great success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*