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In my university days I heard Dr. Paul Tillich, the famous philosopher and theologian, speak at the University of Chicago. He referred to "the pedagogical error of throwing answers like stones at people who have not asked for them."
This is an important concept for social marketing.
Like the good cop in a good cop/bad cop scenario, as well as a basic principle of adult education, it's empathy and advice that work.
This assumes an intimate knowledge of both the issues and your audience.
Social marketing is as much about listening as it is about leadership and answers. Once someone feels that you've heard them, they're more ready to listen to you. And your message is more likely to fit.
At the heart of this is understanding what matters to an audience, speaking their language, presenting a case so that they can relate to it.
Good writing and good storytelling are both important.
There's a difference between plain information and good stories. Information can be everything but alive. Story adds the substance and the context that give information definition and soul. This is what animates a message, brings it to life, illustrates that this-right-here matters.
There is a sense when someone has really spoken to you. Exploring issues, situations, values and options can bring an audience to see your answer in a new light. And ask for it.
Once they want to own it, they already do.
— Al Czarnecki APR, FCPRS, LM
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