Ch. 7-Communication

18 Oct

Text: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics-9th Edition-Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G.

The Goals of Communication

3rd step in communication process= Execution (most visible step)

Implementing the Plan

  • Goals of the communication process are: to inform, persuade, motivate, or achieve mutual understanding
  • To be an effective communicator, a person needs to have basic knowledge of
    • What constitutes communication and how people receive messages
    • How people process information and change their perceptions
    • What kinds of media and communication tools are most appropriate for a particular message
    • Five possible objectives for a communicator
      • Message exposure
      • Accurate dissemination of the message
        • The basic information often filtered by media gatekeepers, remains intact as it is transmitted through various media
  • Acceptance of the message
  • Attitude change
    • Audience not only believes the message, but makes a verbal or mental commitment to change behavior as a result
  • Change in overt behavior

Five Communication Elements

  • Sender/Source (Encoder)
  • Message
  • Channel
  • Receiver (Decoder)
  • Feedback (from the receiver to the sender)

Media Uses and Gratification Theory– basic premise is that communication is interactive

  • Communicator wants to inform
  • Recipient wants to be entertained, informed, or alerted to opportunities that can fulfill individual needs
  • People use mass media for different purposes such as
    • Surveillance of the environment to find out what is happening, locally or even globally
    • Entertainment and diversion
    • Reinforcement of their opinions and predispositions
    • Decision making about buying a product or service

Passive audiences- people who pay attention to a message only because it is entertaining and offers a diversion

  • Passive audiences need messages that have style and creativity
  • Passive audiences use communication channels that can be utilized while they are doing little else

Active Audiences- people are already at the interest stage of the adoption process and seek more sophisticated supplemental information

  • Example: person has already determined that a particular car model is attractive and is predisposed to buy one. He/she actively seeks more detailed information from the automaker’s Web site

Triggering event- event that is a catalyst for people to go out and buy an item

Attention-Getting Concepts

  • Include as many of the 5 senses as possible
    • 83% of learning is accomplished through sight
    • Raise a “need” first
      • Begin message with something that will make its members’ lives easier or benefit them somehow
      • Audiences attention is highest at the beginning of a message
        • State major point at beginning, give details in the middle, and end with a summary of message
        • Channeling
          • Begin message with statement that reflects audience values and predispositions
            • People pay more attention to messages that reinforce their predispositions

Writing for Clarity

  • Use symbols, acronyms, and slogans
    • A symbol should be unique, memorable, widely recognized, and appropriate
    • Many times the acronym becomes the common name
    • Slogans help condense a concept
    • Avoid jargon
      • Jargon interferes with the message and impedes the receiver’s ability to understand
      • Avoid clichés and hype words
      • Avoid euphemisms
        • PR personnel should use positive, favorable words to convey a message, but they have an ethical responsibility not to use words that hid information, mislead, or offend
        • Avoid discriminatory language

Believing the Message

  • Sleeper effect- there is decreased tendency over time to reject the material presented by an untrustworthy source
  • Context- action (performance) speaks louder than a stack of news releases
  • Audience’s Predispositions
    • Cognitive Dissonance theory- people will not believe a message contrary to their predispositions unless the communicator can introduce information that causes them to question their beliefs

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