The science behind a press release service

Sunday 23rd September 2012   by Andy Comber

Why should matm offer you a press release service to you – and get your story published? Good question. One answer is: because your brain, my brain, every single person’s brain is pretty much bone idle. It’s a scientific fact.

I’m reading a book – an international best seller, no less – explaining how us humans think. It’s by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. In his book, called Thinking, Fast and Slow, he shows how we like to make decisions that are easy. We do whatever we can to avoid complicated, rational decision-making. The reason? The brain is wired up to avoid hard work.

Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, explains why using a press release writing service makes rational and irrational sense

It means that, when we think we are being rational, we are, in fact, often making decisions based on ‘fast thinking’ that draw much more than we realise from our irrational, subconscious mind than from rational conscious thinking – otherwise known as ‘slow thinking’.

It struck me that this is a fundamental reason why it is good for businesses to develop a media profile and get stories in the local papers, magazines and trade press. Let me explain.

Kahneman takes his readers through the concept of cognitive ease. When the brain is at cognitive ease, it can rip along doing its fast thinking like Lewis Hamilton storming along the Hangar Straight at Silverstone.

So, what puts our brains in a state of cognitive ease? It’s being presented with information in a form that is:

•    A repeat experience
•    Clearly displayed
•    Offering primed ideas
•    And encourages a good mood.

This leads to information (and decision-making) that:

•    Feels familiar
•    Feels true
•    Feels good
•    Feels effortless to digest.

The process is shown in the image from the book below.

Causes and consequences of cognitive ease - shows how having a news media strategy makes business sense

Let me show how that explains why organisations should have a PR strategy and develop a media profile.

Repeated experience – advertisers understand the concept of cognitive ease – that’s why they expect to have to run multiple adverts as part of a campaign to get the result they need. The same is true on editorial pages. If you can get articles published where your customers and prospective customers are looking, your business and offer will become more familiar to them.

Clear display – the key to good media coverage is to get your key messages across, shaped for particular target audiences. If this is done successfully, potential new customers will take note. The beauty of fast thinking, says Kahneman, is that the brain is clocking your message, even when you don’t realise it. This is as much a subconscious as a conscious process/

Primed idea – if your target audience is primed to treat your message with greater importance, that’s good. And having your story told as ‘news’ in key publications, does just that. It enhances your credibility so makes you more noteworthy than your rivals.

Good mood – you tell a story that explains how your product or service can help a potential customer, it is more likely to have a positive effect on their mood. Again, they might not realise it at the time, but their brains are taking it all in.
The upshot, your press releases will have had an impact. Whether they are read carefully, skimmed or just glanced at, the target audience – or, more precisely, the brains of the many people in your target audience – will get the message.

The accumulative effect is that your products and services will have a greater chance of being considered when your current customers, and new ones, decide what to buy.

They may think they are making a rational choice based, for example, on an agreed internal purchase procedure. But, says Daniel Kahneman, they would almost certainly be wrong. Look carefully, and it will be fast thinking that will have played the biggest part. And there’s plenty of research to show that’s true.