Mallory Boulware

This is a blog for PR Writing

Chapter 2 Reading Notes February 2, 2010

Filed under: COMM 4333,Reading Notes — mbboulware @ 3:04 pm

These notes come from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox

1. Persuasion tries to change a person’s beliefs or feelings in an area in which he/she has free choice
2. Communication must involve a sender, a message, a channel and a receiver in order to be affective

  • The receiver is also known as the stakeholder

3. A PR writer has a responsibility to make sure their message is tailored to fit their specific audience

4. People do not believe something that goes against their pre-conceived ideas unless something causes them to question those ideas

5. A PR writer can create dissonance, or a contradictory idea, in three different ways:

  • By making the public aware that circumstances have changed
  • By providing information about new developments
  • By providing a quote from a well-respected and trustworthy person

6. Framing describes how a story is set up with facts and other information

7. About half of the information in the mass media is supplied by PR sources

8. The diffusion theory explains the ways in which people acquire new information. These 5 steps are:

  • Awareness- Discovery of the product or idea
  • Interest- More information is wanted
  • Trial- Sampling of the product or idea takes place
  • Evaluation- A decision is made as to whether or not the product worked
  • Adoption- The product or idea is used or accepted

9. Hierarchy of Needs:

  • Physiological-minimum necessities for life such as water, air, etc.
  • Safety
  • Social needs
  • Ego needs- self-esteem, self-confidence, etc.
  • Self-actualization needs- needs that are not a necessity to life, but add on to character

10. Things to keep in mind  when working on message content:

  • Audience analysis
  • Source credibility
  • Appeal to self- interest
  • Clarity of the message- average sentence length should be about 17 words
  • Timing and context
  • Symbols
  • Slogans, acronyms and semantics- branding involves making a specific graphic or look that is recognizable as your company
  • Suggestions for action
  • Content and structure- write vividly to become more persuasive

11. Things that add persuasion to a message:

  • Drama
  • Statistics
  • Surveys/Polls
  • Examples
  • Testimonials
  • Endorsements
  • Emotional appeals

12. Some ethical don’ts:

  • Don’t fabricate your subject or your credibility
  • Don’t try to tap into people’s emotions on an unrelated premise and/or without evidence
  • Don’t oversimplify
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