The Bases of Advocacy

I recently took a 2 day seminar taught by world-renowned Communications professor, Dr. John Daly.  It was one of the best courses I’ve ever taken in my life.  We learned about advocacy, business communication, and persuasion.   Throughout the entire course, Dr. Daly had the entire room at the edge of our seats, completely engaged.   

Advocacy is getting people to agree with your ideas and to follow them voluntarily.  We learned that there are 3 keys to advocacy:

Clarity:  Always know your goal when communicating.  Drop what is unimportant.  And last, chunk your information so that people can easily understand the message.  According to Dr. Daly, people respond very well when you chunk information into 3 sections.  Psychologically, humans respond to ideas when they’re explained in 3 parts.  Presenters will get rounds of applause and praise when they make their final points on their third chunk. 

Affinity:  Affinity is simply getting people to like you.  We learned that getting people to like you starts when you take an interest in the other person.  It also takes a charismatic personality that makes people feel good.   

Influence:  Influence starts with a good personal brand.  How do people view you?  What is your reputation?  A good brand will create perceived differences even if the competition is similar or even better.  I’m sure we’ve all seen this at work in our lives, but a great example we learned about was the Coca Cola vs. Pepsi case study.  Coca Cola is perceived to better, even though in blind taste tests, users choose Pepsi.  Enhancing your brand, builds the amount of influence you can wield. 

Advocacy therefore, is creating a strong reputation, combined with a crystal clear message, and having people like you and wanting to see you succeed.  Combining these three elements will help you create your name brand and will help you get the things you desire in life.

Clarify, Be Liked, and Be Reputable. 



2 thoughts on “The Bases of Advocacy

  1. Actually, people prefer Coca Cola because the lingering effects are much more pleasant than Pepsi’s. Pepsi’s sweeter initially, which is why it “wins” the taste tests. But most people I know would rather be half way through with a bottle of Coke than a bottle of Pepsi.

    The tastebuds probably tire of Pepsi more quickly because it’s more intense and thus people have a negative mental association with the product.

    Goldfinger wrote a song about Pepsi and Coke that I very much enjoy.


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