Do you play the frozen perceptions or play into them?

In how you answer this question can make all the difference in the world with how effective your messaging strategy will be in seeking to reach a critical mass tipping point.

For starters, lets review the foundational meaning of the term Frozen Perception:

”Frozen Perceptions” is a term of art that describes ingrained perceptual biases, which close a personʼs mind from “hearing” the benefits of a product, service or other proposition. - Joel Tucciarone

I recently blogged on this concept and how it has literally shifted everything for me. You can read that blog, here.

With that said, let me ask the question again?

Do you play the frozen perceptions or play into them?

What I contend is that too often, we play into the frozen perceptions rather than play them. In this, there is a huge difference from a posture standpoint.

In a world so wired up and connected, it is extremely easy to get sucked into the seemingly never-ending echo-chamber within our own communities all the while we think somehow, we are making in-roads with reaching a far reaching community.

So often, we end up simply speaking to the choir and not the prospect all the while widening the gap between your cause those you need to reach critical mass and perhaps a tipping point into mainstream psyche.

In this, in how you begin articulating your message and how you will broadcast it, have you ever stopped and asked what the frozen perceptions are of both you and your message?

With this, I would like to submit that if we fail to do this, we will too often find ourselves in our actions and methods of broadcasting playing into the frozen perceptions others have of us. Therefore, unknowingly, we render ourselves and message virtually dead on arrival except for the the constant drone of the echo chamber.

In politics, as I stated in my recent blog on frozen perceptions, the idea is to seek to define your opponent, before they can define themselves. In this, opponents are virtually seeking to set up frozen perceptions in the minds of potential voters of their opponent. Often times, these frozen perceptions are filled with half-truths, false statements, and complete rhetoric. (please note * frozen perceptions are not always negative.)

With your cause or message, have you ever stopped and asked what are the ingrained perceptual biases, which close a personʼs mind from “hearing” the benefits of your product, service or proposition?

Have you ever wondered perhaps why you were not getting the traction you had hoped for? Perhaps in this, you have been simply playing into the frozen perceptions people of of you, your cause, or message rather than playing them.

What I would propose is that you identify these frozen perceptions and in your messaging strategy, begin to play them by subtly addressing them and replacing them with the perceptions you would hope to project for your cause or message.

It’s funny, I think often times that frozen perceptions can simply be misunderstandings between peoples and groups based on lack of clarity, discussion, or even divide.

To either play the frozen perception or play into them is a posture that one needs to make their own.

A recent observation I have made within this set of lenses has to do in regards to the current #occupywallstreet protests. In this, I cannot tell you how many people I have spoken to that see the people in these protests and immediately categorize them based on method, appearance, and lack of clarity of message even though many of them do share the same concerns.

What would happen if those who were protesting actually decided to play the frozen perceptions rather than play into them? In this, could it increase their voice and message to reach critical mass, no longer fringe, and lead to a sustainable tipping point?

Movements like this are always difficult in a world of instant media that can also be very good at playing gotcha. In this, one must be prepared to play and not play into.

What that looks like, we can get into in another blog post with regards to strategies to architect a mass movement in a digital world.

But for now, I simply want to challenge you to look at your messaging strategy for your cause through a different lens. The lens of the frozen perception.

In this, have you been playing it or playing into it?

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5 responses »

  1. squelsch says:

    I understand what you mean and I thought of political categories that people are so quickly put into these days. Myself, I try to mediate, but I know at some core, I’m just another category myself. The lines are drawn so thick today too, being neutral to any position is a category of it’s own.
    I think I’m “playing into it”. But what difference does it really make? Your blog seems to say that by “playing it” all your really doing is expanding your voice. Maybe it will, but is that really neccessary if everyone else is playing into their role already?

  2. @gunnarsimonsen says:

    I think you make a good point in asking this. To be honest with you, I am really just wrestling with this concept. By playing it, I could probably instead say addressing it as too often, I believe, we just keep playing into to it the perceptions and wondering why no one outside of the echo chamber is taking hold of the message.

    I also suppose another way of defining the frozen perception could also be stereotypes.

    Certainly, it is true that the lines are drawn so thick today that in the end, does any of this even matter?

    But then again, if not one voice that speaks up, then who will?

    I think my point mainly speaks to the methods we attach to how we broadcast our messages and even the messages themselves that perhaps in this, we must rethink our strategy and begin to look at it through a different lens.

    Certainly, we do want to expand our voice and create traction for whatever it is we are promoting and/or even protesting against.

    In the end, you are not going to change everybody, but… you might change somebody by simply adjusting your method in not playing into peoples “stereotypes” but rather playing them by subtly changing them by how you plan to broadcast them.

    How’s that for a ramble? :)

    • squelsch says:

      That is a great ramble!
      I understand your point that your getting at. What I am curious about, is your motive for posting this. What was it that you heard or saw that made you think of frozen perceptions?
      Politically, I think you can inform people. But people are seldom, if ever, prone to change. And yes I agree, somebody must speak up. I guess my main gripe with this issue is the categories people are put in – or the stereotypes you suggested.

      • @gunnarsimonsen says:

        I simply am seeking to take conversation I have had recently with others regarding for instance the occupy movement and look at it through this lens.

        With Portland, where I am from… we too are facing our own occupy movement, which I have many friends a part of.

        I simply would like to ask the what if we were aware of these frozen perceptions others have of us and seek to not play into them.

        I will say that many within the occupy movement have truly sought to not play into it, but sadly… that is not always news worthy.

        As I stated before, this is something I too am wrestling with, but more through the eyes of a marketer/branding person, rather than social issues.

        However, I believe it all works the same.

      • squelsch says:

        I agree with you on the sales pitch idea. But there is a line between informing and persuading – at least in writing. I couldn’t help but think of the Occupy Movement too. Tomorrow there is an Occupy Seattle rally which I am going to attend. Not for the sake of the movement, but for a journalistic standpoint. We’ll see what happens…
        I believe that those who play the protester’s perception will be rejected by most conservative standpoints, whereas those who play INTO it, are more likely to attract them.
        I really enjoy this subject, and I think a bigger and better question might be: how do you change peoples minds? And how do you justify doing that?

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