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Public Relations Theory

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Information about Public Relations Theory
Education

Published on July 31, 2008

Author: Brett509

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This slideshow focuses on public relations theory and persuasion tactics. From: BrettAtwood.com
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PR Theory Basics PR 313 Brett Atwood

Basic Review Four elements of communication 1. Sender 2. Message 3. Medium 4. Receiver Who is your message aimed at? There may be one or multiple publics Who is affected by the actions Stakeholders

Four elements of communication

1. Sender

2. Message

3. Medium

4. Receiver

Who is your message aimed at?

There may be one or multiple publics

Who is affected by the actions

Stakeholders

Persuasion vs. Manipulation What do you think the difference is between persuasion vs. manipulation?

What do you think the difference is between persuasion vs. manipulation?

Persuasion Persuasion is an attempt to influence a person’s actions through an appeal to his/her self-interest A PR person must be aware of what the audience wants to know Gained knowledge is “mutually beneficial”

Persuasion is an attempt to influence a person’s actions through an appeal to his/her self-interest

A PR person must be aware of what the audience wants to know

Gained knowledge is “mutually beneficial”

Manipulation The audience might not need to know the message, but they are coerced or tricked into that knowledge when there is little of no benefit to them Can result in loss of credibility or negative feelings

The audience might not need to know the message, but they are coerced or tricked into that knowledge when there is little of no benefit to them

Can result in loss of credibility or negative feelings

Media Theory Does the media have an effect on viewers and listeners? There are several theories that support the extremes and the middle on this Yes, it impacts us No, it does not Yes and No... somewhere in between

Does the media have an effect on viewers and listeners?

There are several theories that support the extremes and the middle on this

Yes, it impacts us

No, it does not

Yes and No... somewhere in between

Hypodermic Needle Theory One of the earliest theories held that mass media was highly influential The media could “shoot” beliefs into people’s minds as a doctor shoots a hypodermic needle into a patient Examples: WWI propaganda, “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast This theory is no longer widely held

One of the earliest theories held that mass media was highly influential

The media could “shoot” beliefs into people’s minds as a doctor shoots a hypodermic needle into a patient

Examples: WWI propaganda, “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast

This theory is no longer widely held

 

Two-Step Flow Theory Media messages observed, analyzed, interpreted and passed on by opinion leaders The mass public gets information via these tastemakers Opinions are formed Perceptions are created Knowledge is gained (or repressed)

Media messages observed, analyzed, interpreted and passed on by opinion leaders

The mass public gets information via these tastemakers

Opinions are formed

Perceptions are created

Knowledge is gained (or repressed)

 

Opinion Leaders Opinion leaders serve as a powerful conduit in the flow of information Opinion leaders may have more direct access to the media and/or a better media literacy than the masses They have credibility with individuals that the mass media may lack Political candidates Celebrities Community or religious leaders Teachers “ Media analysts” Journalists

Opinion leaders serve as a powerful conduit in the flow of information

Opinion leaders may have more direct access to the media and/or a better media literacy than the masses

They have credibility with individuals that the mass media may lack

Political candidates

Celebrities

Community or religious leaders

Teachers

“ Media analysts”

Journalists

Example Scenario Paris Hilton has a T-Mobile Sidekick She is shown in public using it To some of the public, this communicates that the item is “hip”

Paris Hilton has a T-Mobile Sidekick

She is shown in public using it

To some of the public, this communicates that the item is “hip”

Example Many of us know an “early adopter” who is always the first on the block to own the coolest technology gadget This person serves as an “expert” that we may directly or indirectly learn from

Many of us know an “early adopter” who is always the first on the block to own the coolest technology gadget

This person serves as an “expert” that we may directly or indirectly learn from

Limited-Effects Theory Media often does not have a direct effect on subjects and decision making However, it is just one of many influences, including: Opinion leaders One’s prior held beliefs Influence of family, friends, peers

Media often does not have a direct effect on subjects and decision making

However, it is just one of many influences, including:

Opinion leaders

One’s prior held beliefs

Influence of family, friends, peers

Decision-making Process Exists on a continuum Depends on: The information itself Personal psyche or disposition

Exists on a continuum

Depends on:

The information itself

Personal psyche or disposition

Decision-making Process Some key factors: Socio-economic status (class) Religion Gender Intra-familial status

Some key factors:

Socio-economic status (class)

Religion

Gender

Intra-familial status

Moderate-Effects Theory A “middle ground” Recognizes that media is not all-powerful in its influence However, under certain circumstances it can have a very strong effect

A “middle ground”

Recognizes that media is not all-powerful in its influence

However, under certain circumstances it can have a very strong effect

Powerful-Effects Theory Media has the potential for a huge influence on the audience Influence increases if: Audience has little or no opinion on a subject Subject is non-ego threatening Audience has no direct experience with the subject

Media has the potential for a huge influence on the audience

Influence increases if:

Audience has little or no opinion on a subject

Subject is non-ego threatening

Audience has no direct experience with the subject

Framing “ Framing” is the shaping of views and discussions through selective choice of facts, themes and words Sender makes the selection PR has a huge influence in “framing” how the media will discuss a product, person, development or ideology “ Framing” creates the context in which the discussion occurs

“ Framing” is the shaping of views and discussions through selective choice of facts, themes and words

Sender makes the selection

PR has a huge influence in “framing” how the media will discuss a product, person, development or ideology

“ Framing” creates the context in which the discussion occurs

Examples Apple Computer makes a “comeback” with the introduction of iMac The war on Iraq is a “war on terrorism” A movie’s success is discussed in terms of opening weekend box-office numbers Katie Couric’s new anchor role at CBS is discussed in the context of her gender

Apple Computer makes a “comeback” with the introduction of iMac

The war on Iraq is a “war on terrorism”

A movie’s success is discussed in terms of opening weekend box-office numbers

Katie Couric’s new anchor role at CBS is discussed in the context of her gender

Agenda Setting The pattern of news coverage of a particular topic helps to determine what the public perceives as important In other words, the media sets the agenda

The pattern of news coverage of a particular topic helps to determine what the public perceives as important

In other words, the media sets the agenda

Perceptions of Reality Does what we see on TV impact our view of reality? For many people, the TV serves as a key way we learn about the world Particularly, when it exposes us to things or places that we might not normally encounter in “real life”

Does what we see on TV impact our view of reality?

For many people, the TV serves as a key way we learn about the world

Particularly, when it exposes us to things or places that we might not normally encounter in “real life”

Uses and Gratification Theory Communication process is interactive It is a selective process People consume the media (and absorb messages embedded within it) for a reason It meets their needs Entertainment Information

Communication process is interactive

It is a selective process

People consume the media (and absorb messages embedded within it) for a reason

It meets their needs

Entertainment

Information

Cognitive Dissonance A message will not be believed if it is contrary to the predispositions of the receiver To combat this, a PR writer must introduce new information that says it is OK to change This may take the form of a credible spokesperson

A message will not be believed if it is contrary to the predispositions of the receiver

To combat this, a PR writer must introduce new information that says it is OK to change

This may take the form of a credible spokesperson

Power of the Media: TV vs. “Reality” What happens when TV’s portrayal is wrong Do we learn incorrect information or do we know better? Example: “ Summer of the Shark” coverage Violent crime coverage

What happens when TV’s portrayal is wrong

Do we learn incorrect information or do we know better?

Example:

“ Summer of the Shark” coverage

Violent crime coverage

Cultivation Theory The more that a person is exposed to media, the more likely that person’s construction of social reality will be more like that in the media and less like reality

The more that a person is exposed to media, the more likely that person’s construction of social reality will be more like that in the media and less like reality

Racial, Ethnic, and Sex-Role Stereotypes Are we really seeing accurate portrayals of race, ethnicity, and sex roles in the media? Example: Women in Media Men outnumber women 2 to 1 in starring roles, yet women make up 51% of the population When women are featured, they are usually in subservient or younger roles

Are we really seeing accurate portrayals of race, ethnicity, and sex roles in the media?

Example:

Women in Media

Men outnumber women 2 to 1 in starring roles, yet women make up 51% of the population

When women are featured, they are usually in subservient or younger roles

Diffusion and Adoption Five steps to acquiring new ideas 1. Awareness 2. Interest 3. Trial 4. Evaluation 5. Adoption

Five steps to acquiring new ideas

1. Awareness

2. Interest

3. Trial

4. Evaluation

5. Adoption

Diffusion and Adoption In PR, the first two stages (awareness and interest) are most relevant

In PR, the first two stages (awareness and interest) are most relevant

What causes change? Adoption may be due to several factors: Is the idea better? Does it fit into my existing paradigm? Do I understand it? Can I safely try it out? How observable is it?

Adoption may be due to several factors:

Is the idea better?

Does it fit into my existing paradigm?

Do I understand it?

Can I safely try it out?

How observable is it?

Application of Theory As a PR professional, your goal is to persuade Persuasion is easier if the audience has an interest in the topic and is predisposed to accept it Active audiences are already aware of the product and have an interest in it Passive audiences must be lured into accepting your message An inactive public has less interest in the topic and, thus, will be even more difficult to persuade

As a PR professional, your goal is to persuade

Persuasion is easier if the audience has an interest in the topic and is predisposed to accept it

Active audiences are already aware of the product and have an interest in it

Passive audiences must be lured into accepting your message

An inactive public has less interest in the topic and, thus, will be even more difficult to persuade

M-A-O Model Use the M-A-O model to lure a passive audience into action Motivation Ability Opportunity

Use the M-A-O model to lure a passive audience into action

Motivation

Ability

Opportunity

Motivation You must motivate the audience to become aware that your message even exists Can be done with various tactics: Design and style of message Unique form of delivery Reliance of credible tastemakers Bribe the audience

You must motivate the audience to become aware that your message even exists

Can be done with various tactics:

Design and style of message

Unique form of delivery

Reliance of credible tastemakers

Bribe the audience

Ability Enable easier understanding of the message (once the public is aware of it) Can be achieved various ways: Simplify the message Relate the message to what they already know

Enable easier understanding of the message (once the public is aware of it)

Can be achieved various ways:

Simplify the message

Relate the message to what they already know

Opportunity Structure the message for optimal processing Repetition Create an environment where message is most likely to be heard Keep it interesting

Structure the message for optimal processing

Repetition

Create an environment where message is most likely to be heard

Keep it interesting

Example: M-A-O Model Progressive Direct car insurance campaign Many consumers do not “shop around” for car insurance They stick with their existing insurance…even if there is a price advantage to shopping around

Progressive Direct car insurance campaign

Many consumers do not “shop around” for car insurance

They stick with their existing insurance…even if there is a price advantage to shopping around

EXAMPLE Progressive has a campaign to motivate would-be consumers to think about their rates so that they may build awareness of their service They “bribe” people with free airline miles to request a quote Then, the consumer is exposed to the information and interest is generated due to the anticipated reward Once the consumer gets the quote, it is hoped that they will take action on their knowledge of the competitive rate

Progressive has a campaign to motivate would-be consumers to think about their rates so that they may build awareness of their service

They “bribe” people with free airline miles to request a quote

Then, the consumer is exposed to the information and interest is generated due to the anticipated reward

Once the consumer gets the quote, it is hoped that they will take action on their knowledge of the competitive rate

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