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PR, Science and Politics: How Psychographics Impact Public Relations
By: Bulldog Reporter
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With current and industry developments occurring in real time, it is important to factor in how respective audiences react or proactively respond to news. It is this very challenge that led researchers to identify how better to communicate during this heavily contested U.S. election cycle.

What is referred to in the cyclical media business as “observed phenomena” is more commonly known as a trend to the average reader, and a prospective voter. What drives these trends is at the heart of the matter. No longer reliant on the outdated perception’s reality model, actual science is being applied to this important realm of public opinion.

With the agnostic and objective stance that both PR professionals and journalists alike are duty bound to adopt with their news assignments, this new predictive tool will prove highly relevant in coming days to target and effect changes in behavior.

As revealed recently by MIT Technology Review, new diagnostics based on psychographics exist to help candidates, PR pros and journalists alike target their constituents based on personality.

As a society, we’ve become accustomed to geotagging and purchase preferences driving our retail, vacation and hospitality choices. What will become more common—and who can resist the appeal—is being personally approached for one’s very own belief systems, opinions and voting decisions at a galvanizing moment in history.

According to Cambridge Analytica in London, leaders in behavioral science research, there is a significant difference between demographics and psychographics. It is a fairly new approach with little evidence of predictive results, but modeling behavior certainly bodes well for those engaged in the professions of persuasion.

Qualitative and quantitative weight may be assigned through both editorial and native advertising, which results in “harvested data” based on personality types, providing an extra and unique layer of relevant information.

In tandem with this behavioral approach and call to action is this recent Medium feature advocating that the “attention Internet” tactics newly being employed at Instagram and more commonly at Buzzfeed and elsewhere, are a drain on focus, productivity and meaningful time spent consuming relevant media.

The overarching idea of journalism is to educate and inform, not to dumb down communications of all kinds across the online spectrum. It is also the job of the professional PR agency practitioner.

When posed with the opportunity to work smarter and not harder, rather than take shortcuts or be reductive about complex issues, the PR professional should have the choice to take the progressive path toward elevating the conversation.

Signs that a less than sophisticated agency-client assignment or discourse has occurred is highlighted by Forbes. A dedicated and popular website amusingly called Clients From Hell also showcases bad behavior and ridiculous expectations.

It is the responsibility of PR pros globally to keep standards high and be the first movers on the latest technology, digital tools and research to drive both the business and the news.


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About the Author
This article was originally published on Bulldog Reporter. A link to the original post follows the article.

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