Peace Love & Sillyness

Public Opinion and Persuasion

Posted on: 04/30/2009

Here are my Chapter 9 notes for my Intro to PR class, these notes come from our book we have been using for the semester Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics

Public Opinion = the sum of individual opinions on an issue affecting those individuals; a collection of views held by persons interested in the subject.

Opinion Leaders: (as described by sociologists)
* highly interested in a subject or issue
* better informed on an issue than the average person
* avid consumers of mass media
* early adopters of new ideas
* good organizers who can get other people to take action

Persuasion is used for:
1. change or neutralize hostile opinions
2. crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
3. conserve favorable opinions

Persuasive Communication = the PR practitioner should be knowledgable about audience analysis, source credibility, appeal to self-interest, clarity of message, timing and context, audience participation, suggestions for action, content and structure of messages, and persuasive speaking.

Appeal to Self-Interest:
1. power
2. respect
3. well-being
4. affection
5. wealth
6. skill
7. enlightenment
8. physical and mental vitality

Propoganda – the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.

“What people in PR have to understand is not only do you have the facts on your side, you have to know how to communicate them.” – Peter Pitts, senior vice president of Manning, Selvage, and Lee


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