Let’s talk turkey about advertising.
For the many years, lawyers refused to advertise, believing that the practice destroyed the parts of their profession that were deemed sacred. Part of this was because many advertising efforts seemed focused on chicanery and deceit. The other reason for the objection was that many people who were (and still are in some cases) making advertising seemed to be creating a product that was not based in fact.
However, with the rise of the Internet and the subsequent layers of social media on top of its vast infrastructure, society has moved from messaging that worked beautifully to attract the attention of a neighbor or a friend, to messaging that must compete to get the attention of people bombarded by one hundred million messages per day.
For advertising to be an effective tool for peace builders, three P’s must be carefully considered:
Preparation—doing homework about the processes, products, services, and philosophies to be advertised is critical for success. The homework stage is where many peace builders seem to get stuck. Understanding how and why the processes, products, services, and philosophies you are advertising work is critical. At the homework stage decisions can be made about how to ethically embark on the next two stages.
Positioning—positioning is the process of ethically defining where in the mind of your potential target audience the processes, products, services, and philosophies you are advertising will land. Positioning is an active act. In the space of peace building it may also be a long-term activity, rather than a short-term solution. Positioning allows value definition through ethical communication. Case in point: If you are an active soda drinker, and you drink Coke, and I walk up to you and asks “What is ‘the Un-Cola’?” you will think of Sprite. This is the beginning of positioning. The act of getting the customer, client, or audience member to always remember you as the solution to their problem is called anchoring.
Personality—personality drives brand image. In advertising, this is reinforced from images on social media profiles to the colors chosen for a website. In advertising it also relates to the way the copy on a business site is written, and even the way you turn a phrase in a blog post, or the words used consistently in a podcast episode. Brand personality is something that is designed and influenced by the peace builder, but that is defined, characterized, and changed by your clients, customers, and audience members’ interactions with your brand.
Advertising that works is advertising that sells the processes, products, services, and philosophies the peace builder has worked to ethically build in the marketplace. Considering—and acting upon—the three P’s will vaunt the peace builder forward.
Questions or feedback about this? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me via Twitter @Sorrells79 or check out my Facebook Business page and leave a comment there, or message me on LinkedIn.
By Jesan Sorrell