Leaning into the public

People like people like them

People like people like them.

If we want our organisations to be liked we need to be like our followers.

You may well have heard of the principle of matching and mirroring in order to build rapport.

The idea goes like this. By mirroring the body language, tone and word style of the person we are talking to we develop a connection because the person feels we are like them and they can relax as they know they can relate to us. An organisation can do this too.

When we gain rapport with the public when we met them where they are we can start to take them to where we want them to go.

How to do it

Think about your public. How do they communicate? What language do they use?

For example, say your next effort involves phone calls with them. Do your public speak in clipped short sentences or are they relaxed and friendly?

If our customers are generally short and clipped (or at least in the way they interact with us) then there is no point sending long rambling emails to them. If our customers have a good sense of humour, putting out dull announcements is not going to connect as effectively as a light-hearted comment.

The point is to be like them.

The big warning

BUT we don’t want to take this too far.

When you copy someone’s style exactly people feel like are mocking them. We’ve seen this in marketing campaigns when dry corporations have tried to be “cool” suddenly.

Just like talking to a person one-on-one, it is more effective to “lean” into their style, to match some of their style than to try and copy them.

For example, instead of suddenly changing all your comms to be sarcastic humour, you instead throw in one or two comments and keep the rest as before.

By “leaning into their style” you gain rapport and connection.

Action Step

What is the next campaign you are looking at?

Ask yourself, am I talking the way my organisation does, or am I talking the way the people I am trying to reach do?

How could I rewrite it to speak in their voice, not my organisations?

Now tone it back so that the tone settles halfway. Lean into their style.

Listen to the episode for more context