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"But I'm not after you, I'm after them." Remember the epic scene from the spin doctor movie 'Thank You For Smoking'?

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

If you’re into persuasion techniques like I am, chances are you’ve seen the movie Thank You for Smoking.

If you haven’t, I can recommend it to anyone in working with PR — it’s awesome.

It’s the story about Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for Big Tobacco who showcases some astonishing moral flexibility to be able to do his job. And what’s makes the movie so fun to watch is that he’s so good at what he does. Not only that, but he also has a son (with his ex-wife) that he desperately tries to bond with.

In the movie, there’s one scene, in particular, you should watch:

The ice-cream debate.

Here goes:

The Ice-Cream Debate Scene

“But I’m not after you. I’m after them.”

I often get asked for advice on how to persuade someone who has an opposite stance with no intention of sharing your opinion.

In most cases, the people you’re facing are heavily invested in their opinions. Especially if the cameras are rolling: What would their community of like-minded peers say if they suddenly said:

“Well, you know. I’ve heard your arguments and they make sense to me; I’m actually going to change my mind right here and now.”

That never happens, right?

But maybe that’s okay? Think about it:

Having a protagonist might just make your perspective both clearer and much more engaging for those who share your side of the issue.

The point is this:

When it comes to persuasion, there will always be people who won’t allow you to change their minds. However, you could use them to sway others who are more susceptible to not only your line of reasoning but also towards you as a person.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. His fascination for corporate communication and human psychology runs deep. Via his own agency Spin Factory, every day's spent on coaching people and organizations on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, journalist and television host, and their two-year-old son, Jack.

Interested in Jerry’s services or speaking engagements? Learn more.

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