PRCA 3330: Chapter 2- Becoming a Persuasive Writer

January 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

Chapter 2 of “Becoming a Persuasive Writer“* focuses on the basics and theories of communication, the definition of persuasion, ethics, semantics, and timing.

Richard Perloff author of “The Dynamics of Persuasion” gives the definition of persuasion as “an activity or process in which a communicator attempts to introduce a change in the belief, attitude, or behavior of another person or group of persons through the transmission of a message in a context in which the persuadee has some degree of free choice.”

The chapter also redefines the basics of communications– something most of learned in Intro to PR, but is good to see again in our reading. They are

  1. Sender- the organization from which the message comes
  2. Message- What key messages you want your receivers to think, believe, or do.
  3. Channel- media is a physical channel that carries the message to the receiver.
  4. Receiver- people you must reach (commonly referred to as the publics)

The next part of the chapter outlined the Theories of Communication and talked about media uses and gratification.  The basic premise of the theory is that the communication process is interactive. The communicator wants to inform and to motivate people, and the recipient wants to be entertained and informed.

So, people make informed decisions about what messages need their attention and which do not.  The public relations practitioner needs to know which messages to direct towards which audiences.

Framing Theory– applies to PR because ½ of the content found in mass media today is supplied by PR sources.

Diffusion Theory– Process of acquiring new ideas has 5 steps:

  1. Awareness- person discovers new idea
  2. Interest- person tries to get more info
  3. Trial- person tries the idea on others or samples product
  4. Evaluation- person decides whether idea works for his/her self-intereest
  5. Adoption- incorporates idea into his/her opinion begins to use product

**Person may not go through w/ all 5 stages of adoption

Another important point in this chapter was audience analysis.  There were several important definitions to accompany this section.

First, channeling is tapping a group’s attitudes and values in order to structure a meaningful message.  Also, it is important to know that audiences can be either passive or active.  Passive audiences have to “be lured into accepting your messages”.  Therefore, messages aimed towards them need to be:

  • catchy themes/slogans
  • contain short messages
  • highly visible

On the contrast audiences can be active.  An active audience is one who is usually already aware of the product. Communication tools for them include- brochures, newspapers, websites, seminars, etc.

Source Credibility- Athletes/Celebrities are trusted the least.  Financial Analysts/Doctors are highly credible.

Timing- message should be relevant to the times.

*The book we are using is entitled “Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques” (6th edition) – by Dennis L. Wilcox


Entry filed under: Pr Writing 3330- Section A, Reading Notes- PRCA 3330.

PRCA 3030: TOW 3- Is social media monitoring ethical? PRCA 3330- Blog Comments

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