Not all is quite so new in the world of political messaging and behaviour change

On my way to windmill spotting in Lincoln recently, I happened across this example of an 19th century election leaflet for the City of Lincoln’s local elections:

It’s a neat example of a point I’ve made before, that what can seem new and exciting in the world of communications often is really long-established ideas in slightly new clothes.

In this case, note two particular features of the message. First, the reference to electors having previously elected Mr Page four times before. In other words, ‘lots of people liked me, so stick with me’ – a mix of what now in the world of behavioural economics gets dressed up with phrases such as uses of social proof (‘look, lots of other people like me so you should too’) and appeals to consistency (‘you voted for me before so you should vote for me again’). Second, Mr Page’s thanks to the electors. That’s what now gets called an appeal to reciprocity – I do something nice for you, you’re more likely to do something nice for me.

Certainly some of the advances in behavioural economics, both in terms of research into how the brain works and in creating theories to marshal and organise such knowledge, are very useful. As Lincoln’s Mr Page also shows, they’re not quite as new as some of their keenest proponents make out.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in Campaign Corner.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/31427 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

One Comment

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTomas Howard-Jones 8th Jul - 12:48am
    John Tilley is right- the motivations and understanding of Islamic State ultimately are the same intellectual stable as that from the Saudi- Wahabist grip on...
  • User AvatarTonyJ 8th Jul - 12:34am
    This is a great speech. Really. I love it. And I hate to criticise any of it. But... "Close your eyes and think of England...
  • User AvatarTomas Howard-Jones 8th Jul - 12:29am
    Rest assured at least that the catastrophic situation in Syria and growth of "Islamic State" would undoubtedly have been far, far worse, if the British...
  • User AvatarAndrew 8th Jul - 12:16am
    We can't ignore the EU referendum - it is going to dominate the news fotr months and is the biggest single issue facing the country...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 8th Jul - 12:13am
    This article is so relevant it should find its way to the national press,
  • User AvatarPhilip Vial 7th Jul - 10:42pm
    The problem was never that the Lib Dems didn't do anything good in the last Government. The problem was that they rolled over on tuition...
Wed 8th Jul 2015
Thu 9th Jul 2015
Fri 10th Jul 2015
Sat 11th Jul 2015
Sun 12th Jul 2015
Thu 16th Jul 2015
Sat 18th Jul 2015
Sun 19th Jul 2015
Mon 20th Jul 2015
Thu 23rd Jul 2015
Sat 25th Jul 2015
Sun 26th Jul 2015
Mon 27th Jul 2015
Thu 30th Jul 2015
Sat 1st Aug 2015