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Psychology of communications – what can communicators learn from the behavioural sciences?


29 June 2017

Research is giving us increasing insights into what makes some messages cut through and catch on, while others just bounce off, and what makes some designs work, while others fail to engage.

This conference delved into comms theory and psychology to help you refine and improve your communications projects. We heard how organisations are applying learning from behavioural science to design communications and products that connect, and drive real-world action and change.


What makes people tick?           
Pat Dade, founding director, Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing

Fame, feeling and fluency: how people choose charity brands
Seamus O’Farrell, director of planning and strategy, System1 Research

1 and 2a. Storytelling for change
Brian Fitzgerald, director and chief treehugger, Dancing Fox

1 and 2b. How to activate the right emotions in your campaigns
Michele Madden, managing director and Secil Muderrisoglu, senior researcher, nfpSynergy

1 and 2c. Persuasive language: writing words that work           
Dr. Andrea Macrae, senior lecturer in stylistics and subject co-ordinator for English Literature, Oxford Brookes University

1 and 2d. Changing attitudes, changing behaviour – how do they connect?
Will Tucker, director, Will Tucker Consulting

3a. Understanding the barriers so you can break them down
Abigail Brown, head of health campaigns and marketing, Cancer Research UK

3b. Using framing to build movements that win
Jana Mills, co-founder and creative director, The Small Axe
Alistair Rooms, elections organiser, Safe Passage

3c. Human Centred Design: understanding the people you’re trying to reach     
Patrick Olszowski, founder, Outrageous Impact

3d. Using humour to highlight serious issues  
Joe Wade, founder, Don’t Panic London

***coming soon***

4a. How to break out of the echo chamber and engage centre-right audiences
Jamie Clarke, executive director, Climate Outreach

4b. Understanding behaviour change in context
Dr Fiona Spotswood, senior lecturer – marketing, UWE Bristol

4c. Applying Behavioural Science: evaluating the impact of your messages
Ashley Perry, associate advisor, The Behavioural Insights Team

4d. The psychology of irrational behaviour          
Justine Williams, senior campaigns manager, RSPCA

When does persuasion become manipulation?
Tom Tapper, co-founder, Nice and Serious

Live Results! How do your values compare with that of the public?
Michele Madden, managing director, nfpSynergy