As it is Christmas, I have been brought back to this time last year.
Firstly, a bit of background to what I was actually doing this time last year would help.
Whilst studying Communication, Advertising and Marketing there is a year free to complete work placement. I chose this route within my four years at Ulster University. To cut a long story short, I completed a placement year with Randox Laboratories. This was one of the biggest learning curves I have probably ever experienced. Coupled with worries, stress and a feeling of thinking I wasn’t capable enough, it ended up I was.
(Worrying doesn’t get you anywhere, I promise)
By Christmas time, I eventually came out of my shell and began contributing a lot more than I had been before, merely due to my lack of confidence when starting. To be honest, if I were to give any advice, speak up – sitting worrying what your about to say being wrong is useless, it doesn’t matter. It is much more beneficial to be yourself and act confident, even if your not… (Rich coming from me)
Just before Christmas time in Randox is always very busy with the close of business looming. For most of us we just can’t wait to get everything finished up and enjoy festivities. However, around this time it is essential to make most of the festive fun and incorporate something a little more exciting into your work. Why not!
As many of you may know, Randox is a global market leader in the in vitro diagnostics industry. Within the organisation there are many divisions and I happened to be placed in the RX series. The RX series is a range of clinical chemistry analysers for high quality semi-automated and fully automated testing…what a mouthful I know!
Before starting with Randox I was very unfamiliar with this field but by the end I was dreaming about these analysers in my sleep.
If you would like to know more about Randox, click here.
With this in mind I wanted to try and give the RX series an emotional and persuasive appeal, after all it was Christmas.
Especially around this time of year the public are easily persuaded when purchasing gifts, whether we like it or not! May it be for family, friends or even yourself a little bit of persuasion makes it slightly more justifiable. In this case, I tried to persuade a lab into buying an analyser. I’m sure you are asking how might this work. (I was at this stage too)
What is persuasion?
Some may argue that PR itself is based on persuasion.
Persuasion is associated with influencing behaviours, raising awareness and educating the public. (Messina, 2007)
Adapting this definition to the campaign I completed at Christmas last year, I tried to accomplish just that. See below.
This campaign was aimed at lab staff being ‘persuaded’ to gift their laboratory this Christmas with an RX altona. To be fair, if I were a scientist, it would be pretty great!
A growing number of studies highlight the necessitous demand for visual imagery when persuading. This can therefore trigger emotion. Whilst basing this campaign on persuasion, incorporating a ‘humorous’ aspect was critical when ‘luring’ the customer in. Simply, analysers are not a fun, tangible piece of equipment (unless you are a scientist and reading this). Therefore practicing theoretical elements of public relations to any type of work can instantaneously result in a more effective outcome.
As Aristotle notes, there are three modes of persuasion; Ethos, Logos and Pathos were at the heart of this Christmas campaign.
In summary, persuasion is a very effective way of communicating to the public. Especially at Christmas time, I don’t know about you, but I tend to blame all my buying habits on the use of great persuasion. (This doesn’t stop at Christmas unfortunately!)
Lets just hope some laboratories did too.
Katy McGuigan is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University, Jordanstown. You can reach her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/katymcguigan1/ and on Twitter @KatyMcGuigan2.