Wednesday, January 01, 2014
What motivates tens of thousands to stand in the cold to watch a crystal ball drop on a pole? What possesses millions to tune in to the ceremony on TV? New Year celebrations as much as anything else prove the irrationality of much of human action. A calendar date is artificial, a construct put on the flow of time. The hour also is an abstraction as is the time zone. Yet, millions choose to believe that all are significant. We aren't Spocks and never will be unless evolution takes an unforeseen turn. Attempting to persuade through rational appeals alone reaches a minority of people, and even that small segment is not insulated from emotion. In PR, we lay out facts and convince through use of evidence that a position has merit, but we would be fools if we ignored the use of appeals to the irrational side of humans. It is a question of balance. Those who ignore reason are as inept as those who rely on it too much.