Welcome to the Networked Age

Over the last two decades, digital technology has reshaped the way we live and communicate, changing the rules for our clients.

Connecting the world through digital networks has amplified the effects of group dynamics, making people:

More Sceptical towards authority and expertise.

More Activist, on the streets, in the workforce, and in the media.

More Polarised and tribal, making it harder to change minds.

Download Our Guides

Our guide to the Networked Age

Developed with UCL’s Affective Brain Lab, our Guide explains the New Rules of Influence that should underpin any communications strategy, in a world that is more tribal, sceptical, activist and polarised.

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(PDF 7.06 MB)

Communicating in a Polarised World

Drawing on new YouGov and Cambridge University research, we examine the state of polarisation in the UK, the factors contributing to it, and the principles communicators can adopt to work effectively in this environment.

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(PDF 17.54 MB)

The new rules of influence

Since 2018, we have worked with Dr Tali Sharot and her team at UCL’s Affective Brain Lab to understand why the world is changing and what communicators can do about it.

200 scientific studies formed the basis for a strategic framework, based on three rules and one simple model.

Rule 1

Who you are is as important as what you do.

Rule 2

Passions and influencers spread ideas.

Rule 3

Arguments are never won. Outcomes are.

Art and science

Our campaigns apply psychological insight at every stage

Influence model

Audience

Social norms

People are influenced by what others do around them

People use social information as an informational cue when making decisions

Specificity

Personalisation of language. Tailor and keep positive

People generally respond to positive framing and messages tailored to their passions and pursuits

Similarity

Similarity of messenger enhances credibility

Our key messengers should be similar, likable and expert

Self-identity

People are altruistic, but they also care what others think about them

We are motivated by actions which boost self-esteem and status

Sovereignty

Ask, don’t tell

People value items they selected themselves more than the same exact item selected for them

Spur or deter?

Reward to spur, fear to deter

Action can be motivated by positive associations or reward; fear is more likely to induce avoidance of action

Our latest Guide examines the biggest long-term challenge it predicted – rising cultural and political polarisation

Our reports

Polarisation Tracker

Analysing the UK – with unique Cambridge University data.

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(PDF 3.49 MB)

Polarisation Tracker

Wave 2 of our unique analysis of polarisation in the UK

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(PDF 5.25 MB)

The Purpose Pathfinder

Storytelling in a Polarised World

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(PDF 7.30 MB)

Polarised Workplaces

The challenge of viewpoint diversity

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(PDF 1.76 MB)

Life After Lockdown

How behavioural science can shape Britain’s exit strategy.

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(PDF 3.59 MB)

The Age of Advocacy

The importance of the Patient Voice in the Networked Age.

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(PDF 6.39 MB)

Nerdogram | August

Monthly needs to knows

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(PDF 256.73 KB)

Nerdogram | September

Monthly needs to knows

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(PDF 391.65 KB)

Nerdogram | October

Monthly needs to knows

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(PDF 193.09 KB)