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Sleeper Effect: A Public Relations Strategy

In public relations as you attempt to communicate with your publics, TIME when used wisely can become your ally. Credibility is a key to success of any message whether delivered by a spokesperson, in writing or some other means. However what happens when the message is "good" but the person delivering it has potential credibility problems. In other words the person delivering the message is not believable because of past behavior or the perception of no or limited expertise on the subject.

The solution, keep sending the message and wait it out. With time the recipients of the message stop associating the person with the message and are able to just receive the message. With time the "Sleeper Effect" kicks in and people start to hear and believe the message.

Take for example President Obama. When he initially came out with his message of "Change" not too many paid attention. He was challenged for his lack of political experience, lack of experience running big organizations, and several other issues that affected his credibility initially. He stayed the path and the message of "Change" caught on. People stopped paying attention to any other issues and started listening and believing that he would bring good changes to the United States.

So PR professionals when challenged by believability of the deliverer of your message, stay the course and give it some time. Eventually the Sleeper Effect will take over if you have a good message. If its a good and worthy message it will be heard and will drive your relationships with your publics.

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