Today I want to briefly write down some of my thoughts after a rather fruitful discussion with my friend Raymond Ng. We were talking about the book Propaganda by Edwards Bernays–undoubtedly a classic in the field of PR.
The context of the discussion tonight shared by Raymond: “Is there a need to explain your actions to any Tom, Dick or Harry, in order to sell products/ services?”
Our conclusion is–“No”. Because sometimes the more you explain…
- …the more people feel stupid, because they don’t understand;
- …the more loopholes people might find/ choose to find, because you might not be very good in explaining;
- …the more insecure people feel, because “why must you explain to me when I didn’t even ask?”
Therefore before sales, there needs to be branding/ PR.
Raymond shared three of these portions from the book in particular:
A) The consent of the masses via (i) leadership and (ii) propaganda
B) Outsourcing of thoughts to “our leaders” and “the media they use”.
C) And Raymond took pains to highlight this–
The Outsourcing Of Thought
“Do you think the masses, or individuals in general, like to outsource thinking?”
Well clearly for a capitalistic economy, it is important for the masses to outsource thinking (because there is a tradeoff with efficiency). Time is limited and hence we prioritize what is important to us, and for Singaporeans this is usually translated to practical stuff like food and housing.
And this is precisely why positioning and branding will sell a lot of goods and services, isn’t it?
Yet if we are not careful–this means that we end up outsourcing/ projecting our lives on to role models (and sometimes totally get used by some shit ones), and why we indulge in celebrity worship.
Idolatry. Biggest sin of all time. Because you then submit to a set of terms and framework that is not yours. You might even get deeper and deeper into this set of framework, even though they are sometimes contradictory.
And the question then becomes: How do you get people to think when they don’t want to think? Indeed, thinking often is the hardest work. It drains me whenever I use my brain to align myself with my emotions and gut feeling, because thinking IS hard work.
And the secondary question then becomes: Must you get people to think when they don’t want to think? Why must you?
If the answer is –“because I want to help you reach your fullest potential by removing limiting beliefs”, then what is the main verifiable item which signals consent?
Rigor Vs Legitimacy; Experts Vs Masses
Masses doesn’t give a fuck about rigor. They think, “oh it’s so painful”, and perhaps sometimes don’t even think about the rigor or quality behind solutions.
They instead believe what marketers tell them. What celebrities tell them. What society or the government tells them.
If you’re an expert, you probably want to go for rigor.
But if you’re part of the masses, you probably would go for legitimacy/credibility.
So what happens if you are an expert who is serving part of the masses who fuck cares about rigor? Yes, that is right: what happens when there “rigor” and “legitimacy/ credibility” are independent of each other?
This implies you have to work on both if you are an expert who wants to serve the masses to the fullest of your abilities. However, if you just want to make money, “rigor” is not a prerequisite. BTW, even if you want to serve the masses, “rigor” is also not a prerequisite, because it depends on the pain-points of the masses more than your product/service.
Communication is always two ways.
Are You Good Enough To Be Branded?
So tonight I was reminded once again of the power influential bloggers hold.
In short, to not underestimate myself. Because I can do PR well and I’m naturally strategic lolol
I guess some parts of the blogosphere in Singapore can be rather nonsense, yeah? Very commercialised #sponsoredpost, superficial AF and boobs/legs/ass/boobs/legs/ass haha.
What I want to achieve with blogging on IKIGUIDE of course, is access to brains and the formulation of strategy. I think both of those are very important. And if I can continue to stimulate discussions on strategy and direction as one of the top PR bloggers in the region, I’ll be really happy. 🙂
Looking forward to eating Bak Chor Mee soon =)