Persuasion in Public Relations

Digital PR
public-relations-persuasion 28.11.16

Why is persuasion important?

When you are trying to influence people you need to not only sell yourself but help consumers understand how your product or service will make their life easier, better, amazing?

Persuasion in PR is important because of the following reasons…

The Principle of Liking

We all want to be liked. It’s human nature to want to return favors when someone does something for us. In public relations, the favor may be handing out a hot story to a reporter or placing a press release with the right publication for a colleague. Stopping to get coffee for another employee may end up benefiting you because at some point in the future you’ll need help. A journalist or magazine may be willing to listen when you let them know your ideas or pitch a story if you’ve proven to be a good source in the past.

When you find the things that others like, it gives you a foundation to talk about common interests. When common interests are discovered, it builds trust in a relationship.  Something as simple as noticing the brand of phone someone is using allows you to start a conversation. Opening up dialog gives up that cheerful moment of pleasant conversation, but it also gives us more.

Listening to others opens up the thought process and may spark ideas and solutions. Also, a different perspective gives us a chance to see problems that can be solved, or possibly a different way to use a product. That opens another revenue stream without having to come up with a different product. Friendly conversation also improves our skills and understanding of how to communicate more effectively. That means our powers of persuasion can improve.


When you establish someone’s credentials through something as simple as showing the number of years they’ve worked in their field or some proof of their top-level performance in the past, you bring credibility and authority to their support or endorsement. People love to know who is qualified and are more likely to go with someone who knows what they are doing. Think of your doctor; you always want to know that he or she is one of the best in their field in the area you live.

Social Proof

Clients need to know that with a PR firm representing a brand or product is not only effective but ethical. They may learn of products and services from billboards, social media, speaking engagements, books, and even pamphlets.


It is important to be consistent. Consider the recent elections where many signs were put up to promote the importance of voting. In those areas were multiple signs were out, voter turnout increased. This can also apply in PR. Getting someone to consider your ideas or products often helps the client in presentations and media. This is usually much more effective than flooding someone’s email box.


When something is harder to get or obtain, don’t we all want it that much more?  Best example happens every year at Christmastime when there is always one toy that kids want, and because they all want it, it sells out early and becomes hard to find. This principle also applies to PR if an item is scarce and people want it, then it is easier to market to that select group with access.

Persuasive PR presents these same principals in written and oral form to the public, but it doesn’t end there.

Persuasive PR works best when integrity and honesty are part of the presentation. It’s not about selling something that may not be necessary; it’s about establishing a relationship that lasts and brings consumers back to the client time and time again.

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