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Chapter 2: Becoming a Persuasive Writer August 30, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — amberlaurin @ 1:01 pm

Chapter 2: Becoming a Persuasive Writer

Theories of Communication:

Media Uses and Gratification- The communication process is interactive.  People make highly intelligent choices about what messages require their attention and meet their needs.  VALS model:

Survivors and sustainers: are at the bottom of the hierarchy.  Generally, members of thsi group have low incomes, are poorly educated, and are often elderly.  these people eat at erratic hours, consume inexpensive food, and seldom patronize restaurants.

Belongers: are family oriented and traditional  and tend to be lower- or middle income people.

Achievers: the uppermost level of the VALS scale, are often college-educated professionals with high incomes.  They are also experiential and open to new ideas.

Cognitive Dissonance: People will not believe a message, or act on it, if it is contrary to their predispositions.  Dissonance can be created in at least three ways.  First, the writer needs to make the public aware that circumstances have changed.  Second, the writer needs to provide information about new developments.  Third, the writer should use a quote from a respected person that the public trusts.

Framing: Historically, the term was used to describe how journalists and editors select certain facts, themes, treatments, and even words to “frame” a story in order to generate maximum interest and understanding among readers and viewers. It also applies to public relations writing because about half of the content found in mass media today is supplied by public relations sources.

Persuasion and Propaganda:

  • Plain folks. An approach used by individuals to show humble beginnings and empathy with the average citizen.
  • Testimonial. A frequently used device to achieve credibility.  A well-known expert, popular celebrity, or average citizen gives testimony about the value of a product or the wisdom of a decision.
  • Bandwagon. The implication or direct statement that everyone wants the product or that the idea has overwhelming support.
  • Card Stacking. The selection of facts and data to build an overwhelming case on one side of the issue while concealing the other side.
  • Transfer. The technique of associating the person, product, or organization with something that has high status, visibility, or credibility.
  • Glittering generalities. The technique of associating a cause, product, or idea with favorable abstractions such as freedom, justice, democracy, and the American way.

All information in this post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition


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