Hillary's Blog

Hangin with Hillary

Chapter 2 Summary( Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis Wilcox) June 1, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Summaries — Hillary @ 7:35 am

This chapter was  a bit of a review for me.  It discussed the basics of communication such as  a sender….channel….receiver.  Then the chapter goes into the different styles of writing :

  • Cognitive dissonance making the reader or audience question their beliefs
  • Framing – the selection of certain facts, stories, and themes to get interest in their story
  • Diffusion and Adoption giving the reader new ideas and encouraging them to “adopt” their idea
  • hierarchy of Needs – this is a graph that lists humans basic needs for survival all the way to their social/emotional needs

Chapter 2 also discussed that there are certain factors to Persuasive writing:

  1. Audience Analysis –  Knowing who your audience is and recognizing what appeals to them is crucial to what you are selling or promoting. Getting a better understanding of your audience will help you better recognize what they wish and want.
  2. Source Credibility – In order to get your audience to believe or trust you about what you are selling or advertising, you want someone who the audience can connect with and believe. For example, sometimes companies will get celebrities to advertise and market something for them because the people recognize them and will believe them. Or perhaps you would like to hire a professional surgeon to tell it is ok to get certain surgeries done to oneself.
  3. Appeal to Self-Interest – The audience/consumers want what’s best for themselves. What the audience is interested in and wants to know about is what PR people need to see and recognize. How can it benefit them?
  4. Clarity of the Message – Make sure the audience can understand what you are trying to tell them.
  5. Timing and Context – timing is everything…make sure it appeals to the audience when it is relevant to them
  6. Symbols, Slogans, and Acronyms – create symbols that the audience can recognize and relate to. Such as the Nike swoosh symbol. It is recognized globally around the world.
  7. Semantics – Be careful what you write. Different words mean different things to different people. Dog may mean a cute puppy to a little American girl, but may mean food to a little 5-year-old Asian girl. (This is true, one of my friends from asia considered dog a gourmet meal!)
  8. Content and Structure –  Overall people and audiences alike want to hear a good, interesting, and captivating story. They want drama, they want real stats, they want to know what others think with surveys and polls. Audiences want to hear examples of others like them, testimonials from different people. They want to be a part of the story and a part of the action. It is your job to include them.

To persuade your audience into something you are writing you need to reach their hearts and minds first. Reach their heart with a story and feed their minds with statistics. People are not stupid and can see phony a mile away. Be truthful and ethical in your writing and you will get the audiences trust and respect.


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