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Persuasion And The Media

Jan 29, 2008
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -Friedrich Nietzsche

How can you hope to find unbiased and truthful information if only five or six giant corporations controls the information you receive? If it's in the corporation's best interest to keep you from knowing something, and when I say 'best interest' I mean profitability, then there's no way you will receive information that will endanger that profitability.

We are a nation of television addicts. According to A.C. Neilsen Co (those are the ratings people), the average American watches more than four hours of television per day. That's twenty-eight hours a week. Two months out of each year. By the time you're 65, that's nine full years of television.

When we watch television the same thing happens to our brains as happens when we hear a story. . . our critical minds shut down and we absorb what the story is saying. In other words, we become passive vessels which allows the whatever message the storyteller wants us to receive to sink into our other than conscious and carry us to where they want us carried.

At this point, the news doesn't really care about informing us, they really are mostly about keeping us entertained and consuming. Could this be on purpose? Could they have taken a piece of wisdom from Lao-Tzu who sad, "People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge."

I overheard a conversation in line at the supermarket. A young woman, probably around seventeen, was looking at an entertainment magazine talking a blue streak to her father about who's dating who, and what this one's wearing and why such and such is going to be a great movie. She could name every one of the celebrities from front to back. And after a few minutes of this the father simply said, 'Do you know who the Secretary of State is?' She didn't. And this wasn't a kid. This was an older teenager.

The girl was absolutely unashamed of the fact that she didn't know. Willfully ignorant. 'What difference does that make in my life?' she said. And what does this illustrate? Increasingly, the media diverts our attention from what is truly important and funnels it to starlets in rehab, or sharks off the coast of Florida or who is in rehab. All kinds of things keep us in an altered state so that we don't object very loudly.

Here's another tactic used to keep us from concentrating on what's really happening: terror. The terror alert level never drops below orange never allowing us to feel "safe", but in a constant state of fear. This also allows for a political slight of hand. Using 'terror' they were able to get the Patriot Act passed chiseling away at our civil liberties.

Think of some ways you can use diversion to help in business and sales. And more importantly, think of the ways these persuasion skills can be used to protect yourself from others trying to divert and persuade you.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of wealthy clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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