Made to Stick

Made to Stick, a novel by Chip & Dan Heath, is a great tool for public relations professionals looking for a way to make their ideas “stickier.” After reading this book for my 400-level Public Relations Strategic Writing class, I wanted to share with you the Heath Brother’s magic secret: the six key principles of sticky ideas. With these ideas in tow I have found that you can turn even the most bland idea into something people will remember.

Principle 1: Simplicity

The Golden Rule is the ultimate model of simplicity: a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it.

Principle 2: Unexpectedness

We must generate interest and curiosity. We can engage people’s curiosity over a long period of time by systematically “opening gaps” in their knowledge, and then filling those gaps.

Principle 3: Concreteness

We must explain our ideas in terms of human actions, in terms of sensory information. The ideas must be full of concrete images because our brains are wired to remember concrete data. Speaking concretely is the only way to ensure that our idea will mean the same thing to everyone in our audience.

Principle 4: Credibility

How do we make people believe our ideas? Sticky ideas have to carry their own credentials. We need ways to help people test our ideas for themselves.

Principle 5: Emotions

How do we get people to care about our ideas? We make them feel something. The hard part, is finding the right emotion to harness.

Principle 6: Stories

How do we get people to act on our ideas? We tell stories. Hearing stories acts as a kind of mental flight simulator, preparing us to respond more quickly and efficiently.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.