Chapter 7: Communication

CommunicationModel.jpg Communication Model image by Advocate7x70

Communication, also called execution,  is the third step and the most visible part in the public relations process.  Patrick Jackson, a former editor of pr reporter,  believes it is important for a message to be:

  • Appropriate
  • Meaningful
  • Memorable
  • Understandable
  • Believable to the prospective recipient

There are five elements of communication:

  1. It has a sender/source.  This is the encoder.
  2. A message
  3. A channel, which is the means of which to message is relayed.
  4. A receiver.  This is the decoder.
  5. Feedback from the receiver to the sender.

When it comes to listening to a message, there are two types of audiences:

  1. Passive Audiences:  Individuals in this category pay attention to a message only because it’s entertaining.  They need messages that are creative and stylish.  They are usually lured by photos and catchy slogans.
  2. Active Audiences: These are individuals already interested and looking for more information. 

It is important to produces messages that match your audience.  Here are a few tips for writing clearly:

  • Use symbols, acronyms, and slogans
  • Avoid jargon: Jargon interferes with the message and makes it hard for the receiver to understand it.
  • Avoid cliches and hype words: These undermine the credibility of the message.
  • Avoid euphemisms: This is “an inoffessive word or phrase that is less direct and less distasteful than the one that represents reality”
  • Avoid discriminatory language: PR people should double check every message to eliminate undesireable gender, racial, and ethnic connotations.

The key to understanding how people accept new ideas is through the Adoption Process.  There are five stages:

  1. Awareness: A person becomes aware of an idea, often by means of an advertisement or news story.
  2. Interest: An individual seeks more information about the idea, by picking up a pamplet for example.
  3. Evaluation: The person evaluates the idea on the basis of how it meets specific needs and wants.
  4. Trial: The person tries the product on an experimental basis, for example, using a sample.
  5. Adoption: The person begins to use the product on a regular basis or integrates the idea into his belief system

People approach innovation in different ways depnding on their personality traits and the risk involved.  There are five levels:

  1. Innovators:  These individuals are venturesome and eager to try new ideas.
  2. Early Adopters: These individuals keep up with new ideas and are often the opinion leader for their friends.
  3. Early Majority:  These people take a deliberate, pragmatic approach to adopting ideas.
  4. Late Majority: These are individuals who are often skeptical and somewhat resistant but bow to peer pressure.
  5. Laggards: Very traditional people and the last to adopt a new product.

This information was taken from the book  Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, Ninth Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

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Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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