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TPR #5: How to get employees to pay attention to internal comms

TPR #5: How to get employees to pay attention to internal comms
By Mark Tosczak • Issue #5 • View online
Welcome to issue No. 5 of The Persuasion Report. Have feedback? Email me at persuasionreport@gmail.com. If you like TPR, please share it with your friends and colleagues.
This week:
  1. How to get employees to pay attention to internal comms
  2. Convincing people to get tested for COVID-19
  3. Persuade people by talking like them
  4. For digital ads, reduce frequency, increase reach

1. How to get employees to pay attention to internal comms
Employees, especially at larger organizations, get too many messages from their companies. They end up ignoring most of it.
How can you break through? According to a study of 3,000 employees in multiple industries, you need to communicate about topics they’re interested in and protect their time.
What are employees interested in?
  • Updates about future plans
  • News about how the company is making progress
  • Information about other employees
  • Employee needs (i.e., benefits, policies, etc.)
Making those communications quick, using visuals and other techniques that allow people to process information quicker also help.
2. Convincing people to get tested for COVID-19
Testing, public health authorities say, will remain key to keeping COVID-19 under control, even as more people get vaccinated. But how do you persuade people to do something when a positive result could disrupt their lives?
Behavioral science researchers have five suggestions:
  1. Make it easy
  2. Get people to plan
  3. Offer incentivizes
  4. Create social norms
  5. Support those who test positive
3. Persuade people by talking like them
Two researchers interviewed more than 50 attorneys and analyzed data from more than 1,000 legal cases. They learned that mirroring a judge’s communication style made it more likely lawyers would win their cases.
… our research showed that these lawyers had a better sense of whether their judges would be moved by data or by emotional appeals, whether they would respond better to confidence or to arguments that left room for ambiguity, and how much they valued personal disclosure. Familiarity with their evaluators gave the lawyers a huge leg up when it came to knowing what approach would resonate (and tailoring their communication style accordingly).
The findings are useful for litigators, of course, but it also suggests that voice-of-customer research is a powerful tool for crafting persuasive appeals.
4. For digital ads, reduce frequency, increase reach
This really isn’t about persuasion and influence per se, but it’s interesting. MIT’s Sinan Aral notes that showing ads to people who would have likely bought from you anyway is a waste of money.
He cites Procter & Gamble and Unilever’s ability to significantly cut digital ad spend while still increasing sales.
The improvements were made possible because both companies also shifted their media spend from a previous narrow focus on frequency — measured in clicks or views — to one focused on reach, the number of consumers they touched. Data had shown that they were previously hitting some of their customers with social media ads ten to twenty times a month. This level of bombardment resulted in diminishing returns, and probably even annoyed some loyal customers. So they reduced their frequency by 10% and shifted those ad dollars to reach new and infrequent customers who were not seeing ads.
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Mark Tosczak

Behavioral science for marketers

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