Don’t be an emotionless idiot…

Tapping into emotion for higher engagement and better open rates

According to a study by Ekman and Friesen, there are six universal emotions and facial expressions: anger, fear, disgust, amusement, sadness and surprise.

How we display these emotions shows up in facial expressions (and actions) that are recognized in even the most remote parts of the world.

Everything we do is based off our emotions, including the content we read, like and share. This is why it’s important to “hook” the reader with a catchy title or subject line that connects to a specific emotion. It’s equally important to not over stimulate a reader by focusing on too many emotions to avoid confusion and take away from your end goal.

The title of this blog post intrigues you to read more. That’s the goal, to surprise you – here at WildRock, we are kind, genuine and sincere. Seeing a blog post title with the word “idiot” makes you look twice to make sure you read it correctly. Win: WildRock! You are already half way through the blog post now.

Let’s dive deeper into a few of these universal emotions and how you can tie into creative messaging for higher engagement.

  • Fear: Fear is an emotion everyone feels and is a key motivator to take action. Fear comes in a variety of forms and can be a key emotion for PR pros to tap into for successful engagement.
    • Example: If you’re trying to increase awareness for your nonprofit client, tap into the “fear” emotion by shocking your readers with stats specific to the nonprofit’s topic and its community.
    • Example: If you represent a client in consumer products, engage the “fear of loss” emotion by conducting a giveaway or special offer. People naturally have a fear of not being included or missing out on something special.
  • Amusement: Sometimes people need a positive break from the negative news – that’s where your “soft news” clients can come into play and get some great coverage.
    • Example: Post a video of a cute animal in your client’s workplace or with your client’s products. Make sure the client’s brand is noticeable. The cuter and funnier the video is, the better. People love to laugh – it calms and relaxes the body and mind.

You are not an emotionless idiot, as it was your emotions that saw the title of this post and enticed you to keep reading. Use those emotions to help you think twice about pushing send on your media pitch. Check the subject line one more time. Think about what emotion you are sending off. Is it the right one that will get your client covered? Last, always double check with your client to make sure they are okay with having their brand tied to that emotion. You don’t want to evoke anger when amusement was the goal emotion.

Now go out there and be emotional!