The fake news debate is a popular one in our industry and I am often asked what impact it has.
Well I read a study the other day which concluded that the speed of dissemination of a fake story versus a valid one is the same.
If that is the case, then, how do you best get people to change their views or behaviour? Is it to ply them with fake news or validated information?
My answer is always the same. Fabricated news or lying – call it what you will, at best can only produce a temporary shift, it cannot create sustainable change.
In addition, facts and figures, whether true or false can only take you so far and in my experience are invariably not enough to turn someone to your point of view.
What is the secret? Well quite simply it is something which is within the grasp of every human being and that is to tell the story as personally and passionately as possible.
At the end of the day what persuades us as humans is the infectious fervour and belief of those carrying the message. It is this which encourages engagement and change.
People can become very animated in private or amongst friends. But when before a broader group, or in a work environment can seek the safety of hiding behind a job title or organisation; withholding their personality and hiding their deeply held beliefs.
They often then worry what people might think of what they have to say and can be surprised when sometimes people cannot even remember what they said. The reason being is that they did not concentrate enough on what matters most, the how and why.
There is much science applied to the art of communications, but your success or failure to make an impression and to persuade sustainably is often down to your ability to convey your belief in what you say, both authentically and passionately.
This is something that has been true of human interaction for all time and is fundamental to effective communications.