Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - How To Harness Influence

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We are having Cialdini present at a conference we are hosting and I plan on asking him that question about how his drivers work in PR. He seems very focused on broad examples of how influence works on strangers, but so much of what seems to create relationships in the first place in PR is a blending of social proof, and authority that might lead to reciprocation.

One can't (ethically or practically) just say "Here take this gift (promo sample)" and expect a writer to act on some feeling of reciprocation to write about the product.
We have much better luck with our pitches when we can prove our clients' position as experts in a field based on years of service or experience, offer them up as good subjects for interviews on that topic, respond immediately and competely to interview requests, and then pitch good story ideas once the relationship has been created.
No matter what, that pitch/message has to have all the elements you mention in the first component of influence. Thanks for the great blog and I will let you know what Cialdini says.

These drivers are all relevant from what I see in my business referrals platform. People trust recommendations from those they really know, who have consistently demonstrated good advice, and who pay back when appropriate.

Spot on, Valeria.


I don't know if you've read leadership expert John Maxwell, but has exceptional things to say about influence.

His slant is on influence being synonymous with leadership (to lead someone means you influence them) - and has various levels of leadership.

It starts with Position (work environment) and then goes to Permission, Production, People Development and then Personhood.

I've been reading Cialdini recently too, and I think your 3 pointers tie into Maxwells points. I'm work on how they do ATM.

What I'm convinced of is that leadership is all the more required in PR, Marketing, etc. With so many choices for consumers, leaders are the ones that are standing out.

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  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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