Working with Concepts

In my last post I wrote about the potential for stealing concepts, rather than specific ideas. This time I want to describe an easy way to identify a concept, related concepts, and specific ways of using a particular concept – the concept map, sometimes called a concept fan. The starting point in creating a concept map is to name the general thing you are trying to do. This could be convincing people to stop

smoking or getting voters to vote for a particular ballot initiative. How do you generally do this? By advertising, perhaps? Advertising is a concept, a general way of spreading a message designed to spur some sort of action.

What other ways of “spreading a message…” are there? Those are other concepts you can use in the next step. Next, try to find specific ways to carry out each concept. We know how to advertise for example – use the newspaper, hand out pamphlets outside of subway stations, produce a television

commercial, et cetera. You get the picture. We know how to promote an idea. “Promote” is another concept, as are marketing and education. How might we use education to get people to kick the smoking habit? What can we promote as an alternative to cigarettes (or smokeles tobacco)?

Maybe there are other ways to advertise that won’t occur to people right away? It used to be impossible to advertise by painting a message on someone’s body, but now that very trick has been used.

Advertising isn’t necessarily the only concept we can use here. We don’t even have to restrict ourselves to the concept of “selling” a ballot initiative or a smoke-free lifestyle. 


~ by chetdavis on November 29, 2007.

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