Chapter 9 Notes

Chapter 9 is based on Public Opinion and Persuasion. After reading this chapter I gained valuable information that I can carry with me when I venture out in the public relation’s world. I am going to list a few of the key terms I feel are most important in this chapter.

  • Public Opinion– opinions on controversial issues that one can express in public without isolating oneself.
  • Power leaders– people in formal leadership positions.
  • Opinion leaders– people who are knowledgeable and articulate about specific issues.
  • Mass media– the information from a public relations source can be efficiently and rapidly disseminated to millions of people.

There are nine factors that are involved in persuasive communication. They include:

  1. audience analysis
  2. source credibility
  3. appeal to self-interest
  4. clarity of message
  5. timing and context
  6. audience participation
  7. suggestions for action
  8. content and structure of messages
  9. persuasive speaking

In order to gain the trust of the audience, you must have credibility. There are three factors that the source of credibility is based on.

  1. Expertise– this is whether or not the audience feels you are or are not an expert on the subject.
  2. Sincerity– is the person believable?
  3. Charisma– this deals with the individual’s attractive, self-assured, and articulate, projecting and image of competence and leadership.

Like in most things, when persuading people to do one thing or another, ethics should be considered.  These are a few things that need to be kept in mind according to Charles Larson.

  • Do not lie about evidence to support your claim
  • Do not intentionally use specious, unsupported, or illogical reasoning.
  • Do not pretend to be an expert if you are not.
  • Do not ask your audience to to link your idea or proposal to emotion-laden values, motives, or goals to which it is not actually related.
  • Do not advocate something you do not believe yourself.
  • Do not pretend to be certain when tentativeness would be more accurate.

These are just a few but help you get a good idea and understanding of how you should act ethically when persuading people.


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