In Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis Wilcox there is an entire chapter dedicated to the art of persuasion. I knew persuasion was important, but a whole chapter? Well, of course it was all very important and had details to get the job done, but one part in particular stuck out to me...the Hierarchy of Needs.
Even though psychology class and I didn't get along, I really enjoyed learning about the topic. One of those topics was the Hierarchy of Needs. A basic break down of the Hierarchy of Needs: 1. Physiological needs involve things that are a necessity of life. (i.e. water, food, shelter, rest, etc.) 2. Safety needs include not compromising health, restricting freedom or losing life. 3. Social needs are ones that show acceptance from others, having friendships or experiencing love. 4. Ego needs canopy over self-esteem, self-confidence, recognition, or the respect of others. 5. Self-actualization needs represent the wanting to be a “well-rounded” person. This would include things like learning another language or volunteering.
These are arranged in a pyramid form ranging from physiological at the base and all of the others falling on top in numerical order. The placement on the pyramid is how important the need is to be met in comparison to the rest; physiological being most important and self-actualization being fulfilled after all other needs have been fulfilled in some way.
I strongly believe every person is a little selfish, whether it pertains to money, time, efforts or religious matters. These needs have to be utilized in one way or another when trying to reach the targeted audience as a PR practitioner. Therefore, the reason the hierarchy is so important: People are needy and somewhat selfish. To get these people to listen a company should focus their advertising, marketing, and whatever else they use as promotion towards what people want to see and hear; how will this product make their life better and why can't they go any further without having it become a part of their lives? My conclusion is if a company can make someone genuinely believe in the product and make them "need" it there shouldn't be a product sales problem. GO PERSUASION, GO!