We let the facts do the talking.

Psychology is in every move you make and every word you type (Vol. 9)

Part 2: How PR helps outline the mental health dialogue

In the previous part, I explained how psychology is intertwined with mental health in the communication industry. In this part, I will explain how public relations can help shape the mental health conversation.

Mental health is crucial for our ability to individually and collectively communicate and interact with one another. Those working in the communication industry can positively play a part in changing the conversation on mental health, especially in a post-pandemic world.

Here are five important tips to keep in mind when communicating with people who may be struggling with mental health issues:

a. Language is key: it is not what you say but how you say it. Keep in mind that many people suffer from mental health issues, and, hence, proper framing is crucial when communicating. Align all your client messaging in your communication materials with that.

b. Us vs. I: It is incredibly important to make sure that we were functioning as one unit. Although it is already common in the communication industry, herd mentality is crucial to highlight; after all, there is no ‘I’ in team!

c. Listening: It is one of the critical points in communication, and it is vital to listen to your clients. Focus on their objectives and goals and continuously engage in friendly conversation, especially if you think they may need your expertise. We often find ourselves sitting in briefing rooms with clients who know what they want, but not necessarily what they need. Your role here would be to listen, advice and counsel since their primary reason for onboarding a communication agency is to benefit from your expert opinions.

d. Navigation: Your client may frequently want immediate results and goals to be achieved. However, you will need to guide them to focus on seeing the bigger picture. Once you know what the bigger picture is, start working on the roadmap and on defining target markets and audiences.

e. Partnership: Always remember that you are your client’s partner. Take a real-life situation as an example. Let’s say you want to go to a gym and have two options for a trainer:

  1. One who is an expert but whose emphasis is on his own goals to make more money and gain more clients. One who is an expert but is motivated by, and shares, your goals.
  2. Whom would you choose? By showing your client that you are genuinely their partner, sharing the common goal will yield better results for both parties, and you will soar.

It’s fascinating how psychology can affect your verbal communication, and uncovering the secrets of psychology is not a process that can be completed in a day. Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs to uncover the secret communication of the body and mind!

Antoine Boghos is Senior Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |