As public relations practitioners, when we think about getting our messages out to the public we usually refer to AIDA; raising awareness, holding interest, creating desire, taking action. This concept to drive messages towards an audience in order to raise awareness of issues which would, hopefully, lead to action.
If we look critically at the model, we see that this is more of the blanket method. The message is targeted at a general audience. In this way, we try to insure that everyone who sees it will resonate with it thus giving the message power. What we don’t realise is that by not customising our messages to a specific segment of the audience, we are sending out a broad message that may not have the desired affect.
But what if there’s a different way of making sure our messages go farther?
In the book Flip the Tunnel Joseph Jaffee proposes a new way of sending messages to the larger audience. Instead of the general messages designed for the majority of the audience, he proposes customising the experience to a smaller section of the audience and letting them spread the message to their friends by word-of-mouth.
The New Integration model doesn’t rely on awareness of an issue and possible action. Instead, it focuses on acknowledgement of an issue and dialogue about it to promote retention and incentivistion and activation to get consumers to pass the message along.
This model approaches the audience differently. Instead of trying to reach everyone at once, ADIA focuses on reaching a specific consumer and letting them spread the message to their friends. In this way they are being rewarded and empowered to share the message, thus giving them a stronger bond to the brand and giving credible word-of-mouth power to the message.
However, just by selectively aiming messages at a narrowly targeted group doesn’t mean that your message will be guaranteed to become viral. The message still needs to resonate with the consumer and the tools must be there for them to act upon it.
It is important to remember that the consumer must be engaged within the process of spreading the message, otherwise it just becomes static information.