Tiana Holding

Chapter 9 Notes

Posted on: April 27, 2010

Public Relations – Strategies and Tactics
Chapter 9 – Public Opinion and Persuasion

Public Opinion can be difficult to measure, there are few, if any, issues on which the public is unanimous. Engaging the interest of a public involves affecting its self-interest.

The primary catalyst in forming public opinion is public discussion. Opinion leaders are the people who are knowledgeable and articulate on specific issues.

The concept of persuasion has been around for ages. The most prominent view of public relations is of persuasive communications on behalf of clients.

Factors involved in persuasive communication are:

  • audience analysis
  • source credibility
  • appeal to self-interest
  • message clarity
  • timing and context
  • audience participation
  • suggestions for action
  • content and structure of messages
  • persuasive speaking

 Propaganda is another word associated with public relations. It dates back to the 17th century but the negative connotations for it came about in the 20th century.

There are two practical reasons for an ethical approach to persuasive messages.

  1. publics will automatically have a level of suspicion because they know the communicator is promoting a client or organization
  2. the interest of that client or organization will not be well served by false or misleading communications.
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