"It's not what you say - it's what they hear" by Keith Yazmir, ICCO Summit 2013


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The 2013 ICCO Summit presentation by Keith Yazmir, partner at maslansky+partners, the only global research and strategy firm focused solely on identifying the specific words, phrases and images that change perceptions, influence decision-making and drive action. Delivered on 10th October 2013 as part of the "Innovation in PR" block

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"It's not what you say - it's what they hear" by Keith Yazmir, ICCO Summit 2013

  1. 1. 1 October 2013 it’s not what you say, it’s what they hear .
  2. 2. 2 .
  3. 3. 3 + While there have never been more ways to communicate… + …it has never been more difficult to actually be heard democratized information + authority fractured media information overload institutional betrayal global sales environment what you’re trying to say historic levels of mistrust + skepticism the challenge .
  4. 4. 4 Think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people. + William Butler Yeats .
  5. 5. 5 + Many messages continue to be rooted in what we want to SAY, not what our audience is open to HEARING you say they hear the estate tax is bad for the economy the estate tax is for the super rich and doesn’t impact me drilling for oil continues to be an important way to find new power sources eating in moderation is important language gaps drilling for oil is dangerous and environmentally hazardous eating in moderation is about dictating to me what I can’t eat language gaps .
  6. 6. 6 + We help find the right language to make sure people don’t just hear what you’re trying to say – but they ACT you say they hear instead say the estate tax is bad and people should be against it the estate tax is for the super rich and doesn’t impact me the death tax… drilling for oil continues to be an important way to find new power sources drilling for oil is dangerous and environmentally hazardous exploring for energy… it’s important to eat in moderation eating in moderation is all about what I can’t eat eating a balanced diet… the right language .
  7. 7. 7 + HOW we say things defines how audiences hear us How should the government make it easier to build new power plants? relax government regulations relax environmental standards 56% YES NO YES NO 40% 26% 67% language matters .
  8. 8. 8 + The RIGHT LANGUAGE can transform how the market looks at brands and products Which of the following is more important to you in a card program? “universal acceptance” 22% “knowing my card will work wherever and whenever I want to use it” 68% language matters.
  9. 9. 9 + We measure second-by-second, emotional reactions to language and messaging + We use same approach to help news networks understand the effect of political language a different approach .
  10. 10. 10 [ language shifts ] some (brief) examples .
  11. 11. 11 job board original Monster.com language .
  12. 12. 12 job board job matching engine language shift .
  13. 13. 13 resulting work .
  14. 14. 14 instant coffee original Starbucks language .
  15. 15. 15 instant coffee coffee, in an instant language shift .
  16. 16. 16 resulting work .
  17. 17. 17 guaranteed income for life original Invesco Van Kampen language .
  18. 18. 18 guaranteed income for life protected growth language shift .
  19. 19. 19 resulting work .
  20. 20. 20 public spending for education original Head Start language .
  21. 21. 21 public spending for education investing in our youth language shift .
  22. 22. 22 at a time when most education programs suffered drastic cuts, Head Start received nearly $1 billion USD in additional funding impact .
  23. 23. 23 Windows 7 has features you will love original Microsoft language .
  24. 24. 24 highlight better FEATURES DICTATE what people want highlight better BASICS LISTEN to what people want language shift .
  25. 25. 25 I wish it was just faster. Easier. Simpler. I’m a PC and Windows 7 was totally my idea . . resulting work .
  26. 26. 26 biodiversity Conservation International language .
  27. 27. 27 biodiversity All life on earth. People and nature. language shift .
  28. 28. 28 they said we recommended transparency clarity commitment fraud protection zero liability guarantee online shows webisodes addiction abuse cattle cows producers farmers moving to the cloud leveraging power of the cloud providers doctors globalization global mindset scheduled maintenance ongoing maintenance unwavering commitment renewed commitment other language shifts.
  29. 29. 29 what’s your language strategy? Keith Yazmir MD EMEA +44 (0)20 7611 3884 | +33 (0)6 30 99 44 30 kyazmir@maslansky.com New York Washington London Paris .