Information Does Not Equal Action

first_imgPicture (“For a minute there, I lost myself”) by doc18, flickr.This post is on THE MOST COMMON communications mistake in our sector — saying this deadly phrase to yourself: “If people only knew (fill in the blank with something about your issue), then they would (fill in the blank with what you want people to do).” Don’t say this to yourself, because it isn’t true.It is tempting to assume that if people have information, they will act on it. But sadly, information alone does not prompt action.A lack of information is almost never the cause of inaction. People know they are supposed to do all kinds of things – read to their children, change their diets, help others. The problem is, it is usually more difficult to change behaviors than to stick to the status quo. Good causes are forever in conflict with the status quo. That means we have to do two things, always:1. Create a reason for action (not just offer information) that is personally more compelling to our audience than the rewards of sticking to the status quo.2. Make it easier to take action than to do nothing. People will do something if it looks easier than what they’re doing now.In marketing terms, I’m saying that we can’t just put lots and lots of fine print on the label. We need to improve our offer while lowering the price of acting on the offer.last_img