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There are five main steps to the plateau of influence:
Let's look at each of these steps in a bit more detail.
From the outset of your project to create persuasive copy, get very clear about the desired attitudes, beliefs, or behaviours that your words must engender.
Be very clear about where your intended audience is coming from before they are exposed to the message. Understand how this message is going to affect them.
Pull readers into the piece; get them involved in the details and make the message stick.
Sprinkle your message with verbal and visual cues. Do this by using words that occur in situations your readers normally experience and by conjuring pictures in the readers' imaginations that fit into their every-day lives. Inject your message with language and settings familiar to your readers so that when they encounter these familiars, the message will be recalled organically.
Effective cues are subtle and common to the readers' experience and to the message. They are not hammers that hit the reader over the head. Rather, cues establish a connection between a situation that readers encounter and the desired attitude, belief, or behaviour that the message is trying to invoke. Create a strong similarity between the stimulus in the message and the matching cue in the readers' natural environment. Embed the cues into the most vital part of the persuasive message.
Within the message, depict incentives that will motivate readers to make the change. Incentives often involve one or a combination of the following elements:
If readers identify with the new attitude, belief, or behaviour presented in the message, they are more likely to make a committed change in order to maintain consistency for themselves. This need for self-consistency is a natural, inherent, motivating mechanism in the form of, "I am a person who . . ." and holding that belief, the person will behave in a way that proves the claim.
Provide support for readers so that the commitment to the change is not a challenge. Present easily accessible tools and methods that make the change simple to adopt. Illustrate how readers are accountable or how their change will be visible to others who will approve and recognize their improvement.
By applying these five keys to your persuasive writing projects, you will find a structure that suitably accommodates each piece appropriate to its cause. You have the power to influence.
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