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Julie Sugarman

Published on

November 14, 2022


PR, public relations

A myriad of personality types sit at the core of the complex world of public relations: introverts, extroverts, and those who flow between both are responsible for keeping the PR machine running.

It is this very variation in disposition that can be thanked for the delivery of unique content and invaluable results to PR team clients. At some point in many of our lives, we were taught that being different and embracing what sets us apart ultimately breeds happiness. In the same vein, many agency leadership teams now recognize the added value of a “personality melting pot” of employees and how tapping into individuals who experience the world around them in different ways often leads to greater success.

Whether it’s drafting a narrative and key messages for client and stakeholder communications, creating compelling marketing and social content, or developing an effective brand strategy, PR teams who can rely on a collective that boasts diverse ways of thinking and approaching projects will often generate stronger results. A motley crew of creative minds who vary in nature has the invaluable ability to produce distinctive work by tapping into a gold mine of ideas and ways of bringing them to life for clients and their target audience. Relying on the varied strengths of different personality types better positions agency teams to deliver exciting results for clients.

Similarly, it’s equally as important for PR professionals to recognize the positive impact of developing an understanding of how different audiences operate. Whether it’s reporters, their readers, stakeholders, customers, followers, clients, or even colleagues, having an awareness for what drives human behavior equips teams in a unique way. More specifically, knowing what motivates these groups of people and others that PR teams may reach can lead to more thoughtful touchpoints and tailored approaches when it comes to marketing, communication, brand strategy, and community engagement.

neon psychology presentation

Related: Creative Ways To Use Social Media for PR Pros 

In drafting key messaging materials and campaign strategies, as well as fostering communication with media, PR professionals aim to be effective in initiating action among their target audience. To that end, it’s critical to understand that not everyone reacts to messages in the same way. When PR teams have a strong grasp on how their audience forms their attitudes, makes their decisions, and what ultimately drives or motivates them, they’re guaranteed to have a leading edge in influencing them to take action. 

A vital step in utilizing psychology to position clients effectively that should not be overlooked is harnessing the power of emotion. While PR often relies on visuals to convey information and help audiences understand compelling key messages, it’s important to recognize that many of us ultimately take action and make decisions based on how we feel. That said, it’s important for PR teams to have a deep understanding of both their clients and target audiences in order to focus the key message on a brand’s overall feeling and develop narratives that are connected to the client’s main purpose, particularly when it comes to engaging customers and stakeholders.

With this in mind, it’s equally important for leadership teams both on the PR and client side to prioritize leading and engaging with audiences from a place of empathy. It’s essential to communicate a genuine interest in the lives of those we engage and the challenges they may face. This intention should be woven into every facet of PR work, whether it’s cultivating media relationships and coordinating interviews, drafting key messaging, or developing a PR campaign and brand narrative.

neon pink happy face sign

Related: 4 Basic Principles of Ethical Communications 

Understanding the psychological, social, and cultural processes that shape human behavior is an invaluable tool for most businesses spanning various industries, including those in the dynamic public relations realm. By wrapping our heads around what motivates our audiences, we are better able to develop campaigns that will genuinely resonate with them and incorporate storytelling that will drive action in an authentic way. Similarly, we should empower this understanding to influence how we approach the melting pot of colleagues we engage with every day: appreciating the manifold ways we experience the world and allowing ourselves to move with intentional empathy. As a result, we’ll likely find ourselves meeting objectives as better colleagues and more strategic partners to our clients and the key audiences they serve.

Want to know more about the role of psychology in public relations and marketing? Get in touch with our PR professionals today! 

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