Posted by: katiecrawford | April 1, 2009

Chapter 9: Persuasion! Persuasion!

In Chapter 9 of Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics  by Wilcox and Cameron the topic of public opinion and persuasion is discussed. My professor Barbara Nixon encouraged us to look at a few keys points in the chapter that she felt would benefit us. First it is important to look at the uses of persuasion.

“Persuasion is used to change or neutralize hostile opinions, crystallize latent opinions and positive attitude, and conserve favorable opinions” (Wilcox and Cameron 224). The most difficult though is to change hostile opinions. Persuasion is common in the public relations field because “persuasive communication actions are performed on behalf on clients” (Wilcox and Cameron 224). In order to persuade their audiences, public relations people use different types of techniques. One way companies persuade audiences is through suggestions for actions. “People endorse ideas only if they are accompanied by a  proposed action from the sponsor” (Wilcox and Cameron 232). An example of this would be when Pacific Gas and Electric Company provided a Zero Interest Program  to offer customers a way to have energy-saving ideas.

Another important aspect of Chapter 9 is the ethics of persuasion. There are several guidelines for following ethical criteria for using persuasive devices for the PR professional. A few are listed below:

  • Do not false, fabricated, misrepresented, distorted, or irrelevant evidence to support arguements or claims.
  • Do not ask your audience to link your idea or proposal to emotion-laden values, motives, or goals to which it actually is not related.
  • Do not distort, hide, or misrepresent the number, scope, intensity, or undesirable features of consequences.
  • Do not pretend certainty when tentativeness and degrees of probabilty would be more accurate.
  • Do not advocate something in which you do no believe yourself.

(Information in this blog was from:

Wilcox, Dennis L., and Glen T. Cameron. Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. Danbury: Allyn & Bacon, Incorportated, 2008.)

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