Erika Brewington’s Blog

Reading Notes: Chapter 7

Notes from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron


  • Following research and planning, communication (execution) is the third step in the PR process
  • Goals of communication process are to inform, persuade, motivate, or achieve mutual understanding. This includes having a basic knowledge of:
  1. what constitutes communication and how people receive messages
  2. how people process information and change their perceptions
  3. what kinds of media and communication tools are most appropriate for a particular message
  • The communicator should ask whether the proposed message is
  1. appropriate
  2. meaningful
  3. memorable
  4. understandable
  5. believable to the prospective recipient
  • 5 objectives for a communicator:
  1. message exposure
  2. accurate dissemination of the message
  3. acceptance of the message
  4. attitude change
  5. change in overt behavior
  • 5 communication elements usually include an encoder, a message, a channel, a receiver, and feedback
  • PR models of communication should be two-way symmetrical (balanced between sender and receiver)
  • People use mass media for :
  1. surveillence of the environment to find out what is happening that has impact on them
  2. entertainment and diversion
  3. reinforcement of their opinions and predispositions
  4. decision making about buying a product or service
  • Passive audiences pay attention to messages only because it is entertaining and creates diversion
  • Active audiences actively seek information that is different
  • Concept of triggering events is the idea that PR practitioners should build triggering events into their planning that causes people to act on latent willingness to behave in a certain way
  • Effective use of language is a key concept in the communication process and should be carefully considered
  • Nature of the audience and literacy level are also important considerations for communicators. This includes:
  1. the use of symbols, acronyms, and slogans
  2. avoiding jarons
  3. avoiding cliches and hype words
  4. avoiding euphemisms
  5. avoiding discriminatory language
  • Source credibility, the context of the message, and involvement are all key variables in the communication process that impact how messages are processed by the audience
  • Repetition is necessary for the success of a message
  • The 5 stage adoption process is key to understanding how people accept new ideas or products. This includes:
  1. awareness
  2. interest
  3. evaluation
  4. trial
  5. adoption
  • Time is a factor in the process of people adopting messages, and they can be categorized in the following levels:
  1. innovators-venturesome and eager to try new ideas
  2. early adopters-keep up with new ideas or products
  3. early majority-take a deliberate, pragmatic approach to adopting new ideas
  4. late majority-often skeptical and somewhat resistant
  5. laggards-very traditional
  • Decisions are influenced in the awareness stage, the interest stage, and the evaluation, trial, and adoption stages
  • Word of Mouth campaigns (WOM) have been utilized by a number of organizations to reach consumers and other audiences through friends and colleagues

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