23 September 2019 Daniela McVicker

If you believe writing skills and knowledge in PR are the only things you need to create compelling content, you are dead wrong. To achieve success, you should also know how to use the science of psychology to boost your PR efforts.

In this article, you will find a few ideas on how to apply psychology principles to facilitate your writing and hit your goals. Check them out and learn how to take your business to the next level.

Social proof

Human beings are inherently social creatures. And the opinion of one person strongly depends on what other people think.

According to the recent statistics, seven in ten Americans ask opinions of others and read reviews online before making a purchase. So if you want to create effective PR content, you should use social proof to influence your prospective customers.

Next time you write about the success of one of your customers, don’t use statements like this:

“Thanks to our great product X, ABC company has achieved excellent results.” 

People will not trust this statement because it sounds irritatingly salesy. If you want readers to believe your words, present information in the following way:

“Tony Sparks, CEO of ABC company, is proud to announce that his company has achieved high results using product X provided by Z company.” 

When you put it this way, it sounds more like a recommendation given by an influential public figure, rather than an ad. And it works better than any paid promotion.

Fear of missing out

FOMO is an incredibly powerful psychological principle that you can use to boost your content marketing and PR efforts. Let’s consider two examples to understand how it works and how you can use them in practice.

Create ephemeral content

Dozens of new blog posts, Instagram Stories, tweets, and other pieces of content are published on the web every minute. And people try hard to catch up with all these updates, even knowing that it’s impossible. 

They experience the fear of missing an important event or news. And this fear gets people addicted to ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, which is only available for 24 hours.

If you have never used ephemeral content before, don’t hesitate to make a try. The FOMO is real, and if you use Instagram Stories to promote your PR content, you will double the engagement.

Screenshot source: 

Create the feeling of scarcity

The fear of scarcity significantly influences the customer behavior. And you can use this fear to manage the opinions of your readers.

Let’s say you are writing a blog post about the upcoming event in your niche. You can casually mention that this event has caused a stir and that probably tickets will be sold out in three days. 

These words will create a sense of scarcity and force readers to act. They will want to learn more about the event and buy tickets. Also, they will want to share your post on social media to inform friends and colleagues about the event.

Availability cascade

Scientists have proven that the more times people come across the same piece of information; the more likely they are to believe it. It means that if you present the same ideas in different articles, you will have more chances to get people to trust your ideas.

Sofia Aller, a PR strategist for Top Writers Review, says:

“If your company has a specific competitive advantage over the rivals, don’t hesitate to discuss it as often as needed. In a month, or maybe in a year, your company will become known for this advantage.” 

 Cognitive fluency

Do you know how the human brain works? Our brain prefers to consume simplistic content. And for this very reason, people tend to unconsciously avoid information that seems to be complicated and hard to understand. This is what psychologists call “cognitive fluency”.

It means that if you present your ideas in a more accessible form, your content will attract more readers even if you’re talking about complicated topics. To achieve the best results, do the following: 

  • Try to explain even the most sophisticated topics in simple words.
  • Keep your posts short and concise. 
  • Pay attention to the structure of the text. Use headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, etc.
  • Add relevant images, screenshots, charts, and infographics to support your message.

Give your PR a boost

Don’t hesitate to use the principles behind how we think to motivate your readers and boost your content writing and PR efforts. It will help you to achieve the goals set and enhance your business growth. 

Daniela McVicker is a San Francisco-based freelance writer with a Masters in Social Psychology. 

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