Week 5 Jour 312
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordan Hanna on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Jour 312 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Danny H. Eller in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Public Relations in Journalism and Mass Communications at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.
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Date Created: 02/03/16
st rd Week 5 – February 1 & 3 ▯ Communication Theory and Public Opinion – February 1 st o Persuasion In a PR context, an attempt to influence a person’s action through an appeal to his or her self-interest Successful persuasion attempts to generate some type of cognitive, affective, or behavioral modification in the target People who want to sway opinions use a variety of persuasion appeals, and not all of them are honest o The Persuaders Film What surprised you? The amount of information they know about you and what you spend your money on We have a cult-like following of some brands—Apple, sports teams Marketing and Politics in the film Diversity that might be stereotypes Specific word choice—propaganda and manipulation Marketing uses a more emotional appeal o Persuasive Appeals The decision of which appeal to use in an ad is a strategic decision The ultimate goal is to motivate the audience to take a desired action There are many ways to “punch one’s buttons” 10 examples of persuasive appeals that are widely used: Added Value: the desire is to obtain the things we want for as little as possible. This is an appeal to our frugal side. Ex: Buy one, get one free Adventure/Challenge: excitement and overcoming obstacles Ex: We build excitement, Pontiac. Join the Navy and see the world. Go for the gusto. Argument/Comparison: compare one product to another. Used in comparison with another product Ex: Fight back against high prices. Preferred by a two-to- one margin in a blind taste test. Our product is better than… Companionship/Attraction: belonging to a bigger group or movement Ex: The Few. The Proud. The Marines. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too? Fear/Safety: motivate to take action to protect us from a potential threat. Keep us from doing things that can bring us danger and motivate us to take action that can protect us from a potential threat Ex: Seat belts save lives. Know the seven warning signs for cancer before it is too late. Help take a bite out of crime. Guild: appeals to someone’s sense of guilt can be a motivator Ex: Don’t buy life insurance for yourself. Buy it for those left behind. Loyalty: loyal to family, friends, social group, a nation, or brand Ex: Buy American. Give to the United Way. Look for the union label. Empowerment/Independence: the want to take greater control of your life Ex: You’ve come a long way, baby. Be all that you can be. Take charge of your future. Enroll in night classes. Pride/Vanity: reputation, self-respect, prestige, and vanity. This appeal can be very powerful. It is driven by how we view ourselves and how we want to be seen by others Ex: Be the first on your block to own one. You deserve the best. Why would you want to own anything less? Reverence/Worship: we hold certain people, institutions and values above all others. We often hear testimonials from specific individuals, such as actors or athletes Ex: Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. I want to be like Mike. Nine out of ten hospitals give Tylenol to their patients. o Manipulation In a public relations context, an attempt to influence a person’s actions without regard to his or her self-interests o Manipulative Model of PR Looks upon the consumer as a victim PR during the era of communicating and initiating—The Era of Press Agentry and Publicity 1800-1899 and continues today Stephen A. Greyser, Business Professor and Consumer Researcher, Harvard University Media manipulation: techniques that create an argument that favors a particular interest. Such tactics may include propaganda techniques o Propaganda A systematic effort to disseminate information, some of which may be inaccurate or incomplete, in an attempt to influence public opinion Examples: Name-Calling: using emotional labels instead of evidence, so receiver rejects ideas without evidence Glittering Generalities: want the audience to accept an idea without requiring evidence Transfer: communicator wants receiver to take the respected idea and apply it to a new idea Bandwagon: everybody else is doing it and you don’t want to be left behind Plain Folks: receiver should accept an idea because it comes someone similar to them or reject idea because it comes from someone unlike them Testimonials: appeals from celebrities Card Stacking: one-sided evidence Euphemisms: terms intended to obscure or soften the truth o A Communication Model Source: The originator of a message The person or group or organization sending out the message/information Even if you tell the whole story, could there be something you’re leaving out? Facts left out of the story? Be accurate Message: The content of a communication that a sender attempts to deliver to a targeted receiver Channel: The medium used to transmit a message: this is the means by which the message is sent Oral- spoken Via electronic means- email, website, social media Telephone Paper based- letter, memo, poster Image/visual- Instagram Video- YouTube Sound Silent communication- smell, touch, body language, color, how letters or numbers are presented The channel which your message is conveyed, really changes the way one perceives the message Ex: hard to pick up sarcasm over text messaging Receiver: The person or persons to whom a message is intended Feedback: The receiver’s reaction to a message The source will not know whether the communication that they have sent has been successful unless they receive some feedback in the form of some action or changed behavior “The story wasn’t enough for them… they want to get involved… they didn’t like it.” Noise: Distractions that envelop communication and often inhibit it, can be both physical and intangible, and sometimes referred to as static Noise: Barriers to communication Problems: Communication is not as simple as this model would suggest There are lots of different types of medium to send a message in and the way that the receiver perceives the message might be very different to that which the sender intended Have you ever received a text message from a friend that you though meant something different to what your friend intended? When messages are sent, the source has to try to understand what they are trying to say This might be interpreted differently by the receiver Messages are said to experience ‘noise’ along the way – the more noise there is, the less likelihood there is of the message being received properly This represents a barrier to communication o Mass Communication Theories The Magic Bullet Theory: Earliest of the mass communication theories. Belief that mass media wield great power, that just the right message, “the magic bullet,” influence people to almost anything MASS MEDIA PUBLIC Two- Step Theory: First theory to recognize the role of intervening publics. Belief that mass media influence society’s key opinion leaders who, in turn, influence the rest of society MASS MEDIA OPINION LEADERS PUBLIC The N-Step Theory: Recognized that different people may be more credible in different contexts and that opinion leaders may change from issue to issue Diffusion Theory: Belief that the power of mass media is not so much as to motivate people as it is to inform them. People tend to influence other within their own peer groups How it works: People adopt an idea only after going through 5 stages 1. Awareness: the individual has been exposed to the idea 2. Interest: the idea has to arouse the individual 3. Evaluation: the individual must consider the idea as potentially useful 4. Trial: the individual tries out the idea on others 5. Adoption: final acceptance of the idea after having successfully passing through the four earlier stages The Agenda-Setting Hypothesis Most significant and widely accepted view of how mass media interacts with society. Belief that mass media tells people not what to think, but what to think about. Implications for PR practitioners Who tells the media what to think about? MASS MEDIA PUBLIC PR practitioners attempt to influence the media agenda by providing news items for public consumption Uses and Gratification Theory: Challenges the concept of the passive receiver. With the explosion in communications technology, the real power to pick and choose their sources of information rests with receivers Implication: receiver serves a critical gate keeping role Asserts that people are active users of media and select how they use it. Researchers have found that people use media in the following ways: As entertainment To scan the environment for items important to them personally As a diversion As a substitute for personal relationships As a check on personal identity and values Implications for PR practitioner: This means that not everyone will see or hear the bad news about a company or product. It also means you cant count on people seeing or hearing the good news. Just because a message is available in some medium does not mean that people attend to it and remember it o Summary Mass communication theory appears to have undergone a complete reversal. It has evolved from a belief that people are powerless to resist the mass media to one that is an acknowledgement of the public’s supremacy over them. This suggests that persuasion, like communication, is a two-way process o Spinning/Framing Communicating an idea in such a way that the audience is influenced, either intentionally or unintentionally, by the way it is expressed. When done in an ethical manner, framing a message is a normal and accepted activity o Social Media Most people form their opinions from the influence of opinion leaders Researchers suggest that media exposure is a first step to introduce discussion, at which point opinion leaders initiate the second-step flow Opinion leaders’ decisive role is in the balance theory, which suggests that people are motivated to keep consistency Individual is exposed to new observations that are inconsistent with present beliefs, he or she is thrown into imbalance This person will then seek advice from their opinion leader, to provide them with additional cognitions to bring them back into balance Social media provides a channel for Opinion Leaders Friends, family members, associates and other people who individuals turn to for information when making personal, political or other important decisions that affect their lives may also be described as “opinion leaders” Ethics – February 3 rd o Ethics are our values in action Ethical behavior is good for business, a sign of leadership, and the right thing to do Ethical considerations play an important role in every step of the public relations process: o Including research, planning, communication, and evaluation o Key concepts in persuasion Persuasion is goal-directed Persuasion is a process, involves people, and can create, change or reinforce attitudes and behavior Source (me) Message (reasons to do something) Audience (attitudes) Outcome: ultimate goal o Persuasion and Ethics The Public Relations Society of America Code of Professional Standards for the Practice of Public Relations is a tool to evaluate whether persuasive efforts are within ethical bound o PRSA Code of Professional Standards for the Practice of Public Relations The ethics code of the Public Relations Society of America is the Public Relations Code This statements presents the core values of PRSA members and, more broadly, of the public relations profession These values: o Provide the foundation for the Member Code of Ethics and set the industry standard for the professional practice of PR o Are the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making process We believe our professional values are vital to the integrity of the profession as a whole Advocacy: o We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate Honesty: o We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public Expertise: o We acquire and responsibly use specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences Independence: o We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions Loyalty: o We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest Fairness: o We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression o The Public Interest The PRSA code of standards means that persuasion must occur without resorting to lying or misrepresentation o “It is not necessary to use dishonesty to persuade someone” “The key to persuasion is to communicate successfully the reasons why a target public should share the organization’s view on an issue or should want to participate in a behavior the organization thinks is a good idea.”
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