Psychology & PR: A Perfect Pairing
In today's fast-paced media landscape, where relationships between brands and consumers are increasingly complicated, having the ability to read between lines and anticipate reactions is crucial. Which is why our very own PR associate, Brandon Pugh attributes his successes within this industry to possessing such skillset acquired from his years at university studying psychology. Read what he has to say...
After graduating with a degree in psychology, I was surprised to discover how many sectors my degree would prove useful in. Psychology has become embedded in the foundations of many jobs, including PR. The intersection between psychology and PR is a fascinating realm, where insights into human motivations and decision-making play a crucial role in crafting effective communication strategies. Here are just some of the ways my degree has helped me immerse myself in the world of PR:
Understanding Target Audiences:
One of the key aspects of PR is connecting with diverse and targeted audiences. Here, my background in social psychology becomes a valuable asset. Through audience analysis and research, I delve into the intricacies of different demographics, their beliefs, values, and behaviours. This knowledge helps me tailor PR campaigns to ensure they are reaching the right audience. This can be as easy as selecting specific journalists and influencers based on their interests to accurately represent the brand’s messaging.
The Art of Persuasion:
Persuasion has always been a secret weapon of marketing; Robert Cialdini outlined in his landmark book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion six psychological processes integral to persuasion (Source PR Superstar). By understanding concepts like social proof, reciprocity, and scarcity, messages can be crafted that are not only compelling but also influential. If employed correctly and carefully, these techniques can shape public opinion, change attitudes, and inspire desired actions. For example, employing scarcity and exclusivity tactics can encourage journalists to take a release as an exclusive to their outlet. (Source Business News Daily 2023)
The Power of Message Framing:
The way a message is framed can make all the difference. Drawing on psychological research, it is important to carefully consider how to present information to elicit specific responses. By highlighting certain aspects of an issue or using emotional appeals, I can influence how audiences interpret messages. This strategic framing allows me to align public perception with the ideals of the brand I represent. While accuracy will always be at the forefront of messaging to media, creating a story to reflect brand messaging can also yield incredible results if the person you’re pitching to is able to connect to the story.
As a psychology graduate working in PR, I am constantly intrigued by the powerful synergy between these two fields. Psychology equips me with a unique understanding of human behaviour, motivations, and decision-making processes. By integrating psychological insights into my PR strategies, I can bridge the gap between understanding people and delivering impactful messages. While a job in PR may not be the most obvious choice for psychology graduates, the convergence of the two sectors opens doors to endless possibilities and reaffirms the profound influence communication can have on society.
- Brandon Pugh, PR Associate at SPEY
If you think your degree has equipped you with the skills to work in a creative agency like SPEY then visit our careers page and join our team.