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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility…

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility…

This adage, attributed to various political leaders of centuries past, including Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and popularised in a 1962 Spiderman comic, is equally applicable to professions of today, particularly those in which the influence of people’s attitudes and behaviour plays a key role.

While those working in marketing, public relations, sales, coaching, politics and like professions may not have the super powers of a fantasy comic hero like Spiderman, they may still possess a persuasive power that can be used for “good or evil”.

Persuasion per se is not a dirty word. It underpins many things we do in life. For instance, convincing a recruitment panel why you’re the best candidate for a job or convincing your work colleagues why a particular strategic approach is best, are examples of persuasion in action.

However, when we consider that perception is reality, and that truth and perception merge in the mind, the types of persuasive tactics used by a company or individual, could be seen as a measure of character.

Below are some examples of how persuasive tactics might be used for good and not “evil”:

  • In marketing, being fully transparent about product claims and using testimonials from “real” people.
  • In public relations, crafting messages based on shared values to build mutual respect and understanding.
  • In sales, offering your solution to a prospect only if you truly believe it will solve (or go a long way towards solving) their problem.
  • In coaching, fully explaining deep state techniques and seeking client permission before using them.
  • In politics, supporting policies for positive change above concern for votes.

At the heart of any persuasive approach is intent. Therefore, if we begin with a morally good intention, the responsibility of our great power and its impacts should not be such a burden.

 

©Ros Weadman 2019

Ros Weadman is the creator of the BrandCred™ Model, a system for building credibility and trust in a brand, founder of Marcomms Australia and author of BrandCode®, a PR and marketing guide.

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