Banuary – Why this sends a shiver down my spine15th January, 2019 by Nikki Thomson
We PR people love a good pun. The whole year is littered with them from Movember to Veganuary. And we can’t deny that they do work as a focus for communications and behaviour change. But I’ve just been reading about Banuary. And really? Isn’t it hard enough getting up in the New Year on a dark morning with Brexit looming without having to ban things too?
Our work encouraging people to give plant-based eating a whirl has honed our knowledge on how to make the ‘nudge’ principal work. Or rather how to encourage people to change their behaviour and do things differently without it feeling onerous or like they are being deprived.
The basic premise is to turn a negative into a positive. Don’t ‘ban’ something but focus on taking up a positive habit instead. Negative language instils negative thoughts. Just like the deprivation of a crash diet, you’ll only keep it up until the next office birthday cake arrives.
People who work with us often think we obsess about our work. But that’s because every single word you write, every little detail in an image, it all contributes to setting a scene and creating an emotional reaction. Making sure that’s the right emotional reaction is at the heart of what we do. Every day.
And at a time when there is a desperate need for behaviour change, getting this messaging right and encouraging a step in the right direction with compelling, creative content that gets straight to the point is something that all of us in the communications and marketing business should be thinking about.
Finally, I like to practice what I preach. So, this month I’m taking up meditation. Once a week for six weeks. We’ll see how it goes. Happy New Year!