Has social media been making a choice for you, like getting you hooked onto new websites for shopping? Or probably even making a decision for you to choose the next holiday? Forget social media, are you being inundated with news all around you, on who will be your preferred leader?
Yes, in recent times, our choice and preferences have been subtlety influenced, which can’t really be termed good or bad. Being the story makers that we (PR professionals) are, it’s a good thing to see that a little nudge sometimes helps in making choices. But this can easily turn into a double-edged sword. So we as communicators, have to be the torchbearers and better choice architects.
In PR, we get to share stories and build our clients as the brands they want to be seen like. Sometimes, we try with all our might to be part of those quintessentially wonderful media features. But we shouldn’t lose our sight on what these choices might lead to. Hence, lets be a little more careful on all the nudges we make.
Are you still livid with the Bollywood version of ‘Kabir Singh’, or could you decipher that all the movie reviews were a brilliant style of making you choose to not watch a movie? Let me explain. Did the reviews of the movie across media publications put you off from watching the movie? But instead a friend or family member’s recommendation made you watch the movie. So depends whose nudge was better? Our job is to inform and communicate, but why not attempt to figure what will be a better and practical choice to make. Always, make the communication campaign responsible.
One of my favourite examples for choice architects is the food industry. How smoothly we move on from eating everything to going gluten-free to vegan to intermittent dieting or even about bringing back the millets. No one can forget the fights over where a certain food item originates from. Or how you land up at the supermarket and pick up everything that’s baked and healthy on that particular day? All these are well crafted options to make you shop. But they also inform you for a better food choice and stimulate consumption, often for the good. Building options, where you get to inform the audiences about nutritious or better choices, is a good nudge.
Sometimes, the consequences from the nudge that as ‘Choice Architects’ we design, could help us determine what is it that we should work towards. As PR professionals, let’s identify and design better strategies and Gear up to be responsible Choice Architects.