Effective Influence & Strategic Communication, Lee Rowland

At Matt Armstrong’s Mountain Runner blog, Dr. Lee Rowland offered some first principles for effective influence and strategic communication. Though hopeful about the development of the discipline, he cautions that there is still much more work to do.

On the Process of Target Audience Analysis, he notes the following imperatives: recognizing that TAA is not merely cultural understanding; applying diagnostic science; adopting the audience’s perspective; and ensuring quality as well as quantity of research. Discussing the focus of Target Audience Analysis, he notes: that we should set behavioural objectives; that social forces precede resonant messages; and that we should concentrate on groups. He also examines how to measure effectiveness. Noting that it is “not a nice idea – it is imperative”, he calls for an holistic systems approach, that is systematic not scattergun.

Ultimately, Dr Rowland concludes with a challenge to current practitioners:

“We have the technology and the scientific understanding to do all that I have laid out. The question is, do we have the will? Are we going to get serious about this, or will influence remain the preserve of small groups of interested and intelligent enthusiasts, banging their heads against a brick wall?”

The full article is available here.

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