15 Jun The only sure winner in EU campaign is fear
As the EU referendum enters its final throes the Stay and Brexit campaigns are gearing themselves up for one last thrust ready to convert those whose minds are still not made up.
Whilst as a PR agency we have watched with fascination the way both sides have presented their arguments, it is depressingly obvious that the whole campaign has been so negative.
However, what could any of us expect?
One of the first lessons that journalists learn is that fear sells, and sadly the terror of something bad happening drives human behaviour far more than any grand vision of something nobler.
When it boils down to it and generally speaking, of course, the man or woman on the street will be putting their X on their ballot paper based on the fear that they could be financially poorer if we leave the EU, or fear of immigration being so far out of control that we just can’t cope if we stay in.
Of course, the more intelligent will have researched their decision at a much deeper level, but for a sizeable number it will be single issues rather than a holistic look at the debate that could swing the outcome.
The PR campaigns of both sides know this and so in the final hours before polling expect more of the same scare tactics.
It is a sad indictment that people are much more likely to complain about bad experiences rather than talk about the positive things in life, hence the reason why the likes of Trip Advisor often carry more negative views of many perfectly decent businesses/ holiday destinations.
So for those of you who still have an open mind, please consider that good news generally doesn’t sell. Sadly, much media output it designed to harness the fear in us human beings.
Whatever the outcome, when we wake up on Friday June 24th we will have to deal with it and living in a hugely privileged part of the world, whether you back the winning or losing side, we ask you take it in your stride.
The worst predictions from both sides in all probability won’t happen and if we don’t allow ourselves to get too wound up, we can all go back to being friends. That really is the best outcome.