Last night I watched the Muppet Movie from 1979. In it Doc Hopper (the bad guy) tried to get Kermit the Frog (the good guy) to do something he didn’t want to do. Doc Hopper tried to have him killed. It looked bad for the Frog whose persuasive arguments weren’t working. At last Animal (huge) burst through the roof of a nearby building, scaring everyone off. Today, Pres. Trump fired the FBI Director who helped Hillary lose the election. On the one hand, he deserved to be fired for playing politics. On the other hand, shades of Nixon and we all know how that wound up.
So what is public persuasion? Is it why we buy things? Is it how we think of things? Is it the power of the yard sale group?
Public persuasion seems to be about influencing your opinion on the topic or idea or product at hand. Reams have been written about the clarion call, the persuasive letter or the sales pitch. All of that is valid I’m sure and lots of it feels very aggressive. Maybe for some products there isn’t a choice. But maybe there is.
I’m not suggesting we give up those sales methods but I am suggesting we can tone it down a little bit. Just so we don’t all feel like we’re hammered to donate to a political campaign or world hunger or whatever it is. I get that sometimes we have to be hammered because the situation is really dire. However often I find that the exaggerated pitch is off putting leaving us feeling a little worn out. What’s the solution?