Are You Contagious

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Are You Contagious? Six Steps to Sticky Communications

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One infected person can make thousands sick. We know how virus spreads and epidemics begin. We don’t use this knowledge to reach a larger audience. Make communications sticky and they will reach more people and have greater impact. It Starts with a Simple Sneeze

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Began with Kansas farmers. Highly contagious. Spread to local army base with 60,000 soldiers. Aided by WWI troop movements, it circled the globe and killed 50-100 million in just 18 months. It killed more in 24 months than AIDS in 24 years, more in 1 year than the plague killed in a century. Influenza Epidemic of 1918

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Information Moves Even Faster News of 9/11 terrorist attacks spread worldwide in minutes. Information flow was helped by media, but many learned of attacks from another person. 9/11 was the ultimate “sticky message” one people were compelled to share with others.

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Going Viral Odds of creating a successful viral video are a million-to-one longshot. “Stop wasting your time,” says Ad Age marketing columnist Bob Garfield. You don’t need a viral video or an event like 9/11 to create sticky messages. Nonprofit ads show how stickiness can be included in all communications.

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Both ads appeared in the August 2012 edition of Money magazine. The Alzheimer’s Association ad illustrates the use of the Six Steps to Sticky Messaging.

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Chip and Dan Heath offer six recommendations for creating sticky messages : 1. Simplicity – Strip your ideas to their core elements. 2. Unexpectedness – Being different captures and holds someone’s attention. 3. Concreteness – Specificity makes your message easier to process and remember. Follow these Six Steps

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Six Steps, cont. 4. Credibility – Are your spokespersons believable? 5. Emotion – Connect beyond facts and figures. 6. Stories – Are memorable and effective teaching tools. While no guarantee, these tips will likely make your messages a SUCCES. More Tips...

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A Great Case Study CSPI: Movie popcorn for lab analysis. How to communicate findings to public? 37 grams of saturated fat in medium serving, 2x daily allowance Ho-hum...dry and academic. People don’t relate. How did they get peoples attention to the dangers of movie popcorn?

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A Great Case Study =

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A Great Case Study Tons of national media coverage generated. No celebrities involved . Sales of movie popcorn plummeted as a result of the increased awareness Movie theater owners changed the way popcorn is produced making it less unhealthy. A clear cut victory for CSPI...all because of stickiness

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Information spreads like a virus. The stickier your message, the more likely it will catch and spread. Creating “sticky” communications isn’t hard. It starts by knowing your audiences, what you want them to do (the “call to action”) and what will motivate them to act. Conclusion

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Follow the Six Steps and your communications will be better read, acted upon and forwarded to others. A barrier to creating sticky communications is often an unwillingness to be “unexpected.” The good news is that you don’t have to be outrageous to get noticed. Conclusion, cont.

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