Lynn Library

Here, we share updates from our work at Lynn – from announcements, award wins to case studies of how we effectively use behavioural science and misinformation strategy to create and implement campaigns that improve and save lives.

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Is misinformation getting worse? The short answer is yes. The misinformation challenge has grown over the last ten years for a variety of reasons. Probably the most significant change over the last two decades has been our ‘information environment’. While the vast majority of us once got our news from a small number of common, trusted sources, billions of people around the world are now getting their news through their news feeds on social media. This ‘news’ can be produced by anyone, anywhere in the world. Importantly, with the new tools in web design and the platform provided by social media, it’s easy to produce content that has the look and feel of reliable, mainstream news.

The reasons why people fall for misinformation fall on a spectrum: from non-political reasons to intensely political. Misinformation is often believed by people who lack knowledge/expertise in a particular field, people suffering with anxiety about a particular topic (e.g. health anxiety), as well as people who passively scroll through social media to find news instead of deliberately seeking it out from trusted outlets.

The rise of misinformation in our society has been supercharged by what academics call ‘information overload’, which means our brains are processing more information than they can handle, often leaving us in a state of overwhelm, making us more vulnerable to misinformation. So, if you sometimes find yourself thinking back to the political earthquakes of 2016 and feeling like the years since then have been a blur, it’s no accident. 

Polarised. Partisan. Divided. Entrenched. Our need for co-operation has never been greater, so why do we find ourselves so far apart? From tackling the climate emergency to dismantling the politics of hate, good communication is vital. We need to talk responsibly and listen wisely. But all too often, we dismiss and deride. We stoke divisions and ignore evidence, even if it costs our own health.

Present basis is our tendency to prefer immediate rewards at the expense of long-term goals. It’s a hangover from our ancestors who, in their struggle for survival, grabbed whatever was within reach, rather than risk waiting for better opportunities in the future (because ‘future’ meant ‘less certain’). 

Ask your grandparents about when they were younger. You’ll probably be told about how great everything was back then, especially compared to now. Or think back to 2019 - everything was amazing, we didn’t have to think about masks, and there wasn’t a daily COVID-19 infection or death rate broadcast on TV. But were things really as good as we remember them? The cognitive bias rosy retrospection can help explain why we view the past with rose tinted glasses.

Have you heard someone mention a fear of the unknown when deciding against getting involved in a situation? Have you ever avoided a situation because you feel the outcome is unknown? You’re presenting a behaviour known as Ambiguity Aversion; the tendency to favour the known over the unknown, including known risks over unknown risks.

The BS Monitor is the first dedicated pulse-check of literacy and adoption of behavioural science in the PR and communications industry.

Lynn PR have been shortlisted for the NHS Communicate Awards 2021 for 'Best use of Digital Communications and Engagement' for the campaign #DontMissYourVaccine with Our Healthier South East London.

Lynn PR have been recommissioned to continue our work with Our Healthier South East London to deliver an urgent behaviour change vaccination campaign for expectant families and those considering having children in south east London.

Lynn PR, with the launch of its 'Misinformation Cell', becomes the United Kingdom’s first PR company to provide a tailored service to help clients with the growing threat of misinformation.

Have you ever won a £10 bet with a friend and only felt okay about it? Have you ever lost a £10 bet and felt completely defeated? Loss aversion can explain why.

Lynn PR are working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the NHS to continue delivery of the urgent behaviour change vaccination campaign for young people.

Lynn PR will be working in partnership with HLRF to develop and deliver a data-driven digital behaviour change campaign, using targeted digital communications to reach and engage as many eligible young Hertfordshire residents (aged 18-26) as possible. Using behavioural insights and our strategic approach, the campaign will encourage young people in Hertfordshire to access the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can.

Why are the answers to a test so obvious after you’ve taken that test? And why do you think of so many good comebacks after you’ve walked away from an argument? Many events, such as the Titanic and football not coming home, seem so predictable after they have happened. Why? The answer is simple: Hindsight Bias.