Chapter 9

So, today’s chapter is about Public Opinion and Persuasion.

The thing that screamed at me the loudest is actually found on the first page of the chapter (p.214). 

  • Public opinion is the collective expression of opinion of many indviduals bound into a group by common aims, aspirations, needs, and ideals.
  • People who are interested or who have a vested or self-interest in an issue form public opinion on that particular item.
  • Psychologically, opinion basically is determined by self-interest.
  • Opinion does not remain aroused for a long period of time unless people feel their self-interest is acutely involved…
  • Once self-interest is involved, opinion is not easily changed. 

When you begin to understand the motivating factors that drive public opinion, you can then begin to use the mass media and other avenues to persuade and try to mold those opinions into favorable ones for your employer/clients.

“Although the agenda-setting function of the media is generally valid, other research indicates that mass media can have a “moderate” or even “powerful” effect on the formation of opinions and attitudes” (p.221)

Persausion is used to 

  1. change or neutralize hostile opinions
  2. crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
  3. conserve favorable opinions.

“Persuasion is much easiier if the message is compatible with a person’s general disposition toward a subject” (p.225).  In order to be effective, the public relations practitioner should be knowledgeable of

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

That’s good stuff. 

’til next time, Be Blessed, but more importantly Be a Blessing.

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