Taxonomy of Influence Strategies

Strategies that profile, prepare and position players.

Strategies that calibrate, signal and assess.

TestPreview to play

The release of preliminary concepts or tentative plans.

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PingPulse to play

The exploration or suggestion of implied interests or positions.

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PauseDelay to play

The deliberate suspension of play action.

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Strategies that shape players, positions and brands.

LabelCrystallize to memorize

The reduction of an idea, issue, event, brand or player.

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InformCommunicate to educate

The description or instruction of data, facts and other information.

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InvokeRelate to associate

The referencing of an idea, issue, event, player or brand.

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FilterEdit to omit

The selective use of data, facts, figures and other information.

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Strategies that redirect, salvage and slow play action.

Strategies that divulge, reposition and reroute.

DiscloseAcknowledge to avert

The voluntary admission of a flaw, mistake or controversy.

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DeflectDodge to defer

The sidestepping of a query, suggestion, insinuation or attack.

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RecastRevise to reorder

The reinterpretation of information, players and platforms.

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DecoyDistract to detour

The diversion of a player from another's position or plan.

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Strategies that compromise, co-opt and confound.

ConcedeApologize to minimize

The involuntary admission of a flaw, mistake or controversy.

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CrowdCopy to coattail

The mimicry of an established player, position or idea.

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PreemptCo-opt to control

The adoption of a taken position or idea, sometimes unjustified.

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JamDisrupt to interrupt

The disabling or disorientation of message, meaning or media.

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Strategies that assert authority and excite players.

Strategies that take positions and take charge.

DeclareStipulate to dictate

The assertion of an idea, opinion or position as decided or true.

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RejectDisavow to disassociate

The repudiation of an idea, issue, event, player or brand.

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ChallengeEncourage to advance

The invitation to make, take or modify a position.

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ContrastCompare to convince

The citation of data, facts, acts, commitments and claims.

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Strategies that de-position players and elicit reactions

Call OutDisparage to embarrass

The derision of a player, issue, symbol or point of view.

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PeacockPreen to be seen

The brazen or boastful promotion of an idea, opinion, novelty or innovation.

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BaitTaunt to trap

The provocation of a player to act against its self-interest.

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A strategy that transcends classification.

PassRetreat to regroup

The withdrawal from a position or point of view.

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Third parties who runs plays with or on behalf of others.

PartnerA coequal

A surrogate who operates as a peer in pursuit of a common agenda.

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ProxyA hired hand

A surrogate who advocates for another player, typically for consideration.

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PlantA secret ally

A surrogate whose methods and motives are unattributed or unknown.

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Related Terms

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See also

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Standard Guidance


Hover on any element for definitions. Tap for risks and rewards, counter-plays, cases and more.

The Taxonomy of Influence Strategies™ is the front door to a patented, precise and proven ontology that identifies, describes and classifies the fundamental units of advocacy and persuasion (aka, influence or social plays). Vetted by Fortune 100 companies and leading universities, this first-of-a-kind ontology features 23 strategies and three surrogates observed in communications, finance, marketing, media, military and government intelligence, politics and sales across professions, governments, regions, customers and cultures.


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