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Using Communication Effectively
Communication a key step in the public relations process. It entails implementing the pr plan – moving from thought to action According to Patrick Jackson (editor of PR reporter), a communicator should ask whether a message is: 1. Appropriate 2. Memorable 3. Understandable 4. Believable
Message exposure : the intended audience is exposed to the message in various forms. Accurate dissemination of the message : the message remains intact as it is transmitted through various media. Acceptance of the message : the audience not only retains the message, but accepts it as valid. Attitude change : the audience not only believes the message but makes a verbal or mental commitment to change behavior as a result of the message. Change in overt behavior : members of the audience actually change their current behavior or purchase the product or use it. James Grunig’s five objectives for a communicator:
The primary barriers to communication are: Physical noise: (i.e. noise from outside can prevent students from hearing a professor lecture) Psychological noise: (i.e. a student who only likes baseball and hates soccer can have problems listening to a speech on why the 2006 World Cup in Europe was the greatest sports event of the decade.) Semantic noise: (i.e. A person raised in America may have trouble understanding the accent of a person raised in France). Demographic noise (i.e. Older public relations professionals may not like being lectured to by a young graduate TA in public relations).
The five basic elements of a communication model Encoder: the person sending the message. (Owen) Message: what is being sent (quiz review information) Channel: how it is being sent (email) Receiver: a student in Advertising 410 Feedback: a response email saying thank you.
Media Uses and Gratifications theory: states that people use the media for their own purposes. The purposes are: Surveillance : to find out what is happening locally or globally that may have an impact on them (i.e. Watching the Weather Channel before going to the beach) Entertainment: to escape the drudgery of daily life (i.e. watching Youtube; reading comics in the Washington Post or Chicago Tribune) Reinforcement: reinforce one’s opinions and predispositions (i.e. listening to conservative talk radio programs such as Rush Limbaugh or liberal ones like Al Franken;) Decision making before buying a product (i.e. visiting bizrate.com, shopping.com or epinions.com)
Senses: appeal to the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste) Needs: gain an audience’s attention by beginning the message with something that will make the audience’s life easier. Values and predispositions: people pay attention to messages that reinforce their beliefs. Interests: people pay attention to messages about issues they already know about or are interested in. Common ways to gain the attention of publics
<ul><li>Current trends demand that communicators must: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand cultural differences and conflicting values. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate in clear and simple terms . </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Writing for Clarity: audience understanding and comprehension can be increased by: </li></ul><ul><li>Using symbols, acronyms, and slogans: </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. Like a Good Neighbor (State Farm) </li></ul><ul><li>It pays to Discover (Discover Card) </li></ul><ul><li>Think outside the Bun (Taco Bell) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding jargon: </li></ul><ul><li>avoid overly technical language unless it is necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding clichés and hype words : </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding euphemisms: avoid using words that alter or hide the true meaning of a concept. </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. Avoid using words like right-sizing when in fact when you are talking about firing people. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding discriminatory language: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Use employees, personnel or workers instead of manpower. </li></ul></ul>
Source credibility: does the audience perceive the source as knowledgeable and expert on the subject. (i.e. A nuclear engineering PhD class may not believe that a TA from Advertising can lecture them on how nuclear fusion works). Context: the context in which the message is being sent (i.e. An audience may not believe an oil company’s ad about how it cares about the environment one day after the company’s oil tanker spills 2 million gallons of gasoline into Lake Michigan). Cognitive dissonance : people will not believe a message contrary to their predispositions unless the communicator can introduce information that forces them to question their beliefs. Audience involvement: People more involved (interested or concerned) with in an issue often process messages with greater attention to detail and to logical argument. People mildly involved (interested or concerned) with an issue are more impressed by incidental cues such as an attractive person, humor or the number of arguments given. Key variables that influence whether an audience believes a message
Not everyone hears a message at the same time (i.e. we don’t watch TV at the same time). It helps the audience remember the message itself. Studies have shown that advertising is quickly forgotten if not repeated constantly. Repetition can lead to improved learning and increase the chance of penetrating audience indifference or resistance. Why is repetition important when communicating messages in public relations?
<ul><li>The Five-Stage Adoption Process: how people act on a message is not a simple process. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness: a person becomes aware of a new idea or product (i.e. through an ad) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest: the person seeks more information about the idea or product. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation: the person evaluates the idea or product on the basis of how it meets specific need </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and wants. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial: the person tries the product or the idea by using a sample, witnessing a demonstration. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adoption: the person begins to use the product on a regular basis or integrates the ides. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Factors that influence message adoption: </li></ul><ul><li>Relative advantage: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it replaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent wit the existing values, experiences and needs of potential adopters. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. </li></ul><ul><li>Trialability: the degree to which an innovation may be experienced on a limited basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Observability: the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. </li></ul>