136: Sticky – 7 Keys to Making People Notice, Care, and Act

by Monica Harrison on May 16, 2016

sticky tabIn a typical communication strategy, part of the plan involves leadership actions, but also involves communication content — words, images, videos, and so forth. You’ve probably heard the phrase Content Is King. You can do a great job with other aspects of your strategy, but if the content isn’t effective, you’ll fail to meet your objectives. Content is key to grabbing attention and getting people to think or act differently.

So if content is king, how do we make it effective — to drive behavior and make a positive difference? There are three secrets to effective content. We need to make it visual, sticky, and “nudgy.” VNS on white copy

We discussed the first secret in episode 127, Let’s Get Visual: 6 Engaging Ways to Use Images. Here in episode 136, we’ll discuss the second secret, Sticky. And then we’ll discuss the third secret in episode 138, “Nudgy: How to influence people to make an optimal choice in the ‘moment of truth.’”

The best model for sticky communications comes from the book Made to Stick, by a couple of PhDs and brothers named Chip and Dan Heath. It spells out the word SUCCESS.

  • S: Simple – Make the core message clear. (WIIFM)
  • U: Unexpected – Make people notice. (Humor works great.)
  • C: Concrete – Make people understand.
  • C: Credible – Make people believe.
  • E: Emotional – Make people care.
  • S: Stories – Make people act.
  • S: Short – Avoid losing them. (This isn’t in the book, but in the age of social media and smartphones, it’s now a necessary part of the formula.)

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