Chapter 5Theoretical Underpinnings for PR           This is PR 11th Edition          Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
Objectives• To understand that theories are ideas and not  principles• To learn what theories might apply to particular  P...
PR Theory• Borrowed from   – Organizational and management theory   – Political theory   – Communication theory   – Persua...
Four Sociological Theories• Help us understand how people respond to  mass and specialized communication  – Structural fun...
Five Psychological           Approaches• Often used in studies on the effects of mass  communication   – Neurobiological  ...
Two Persuasion Models• Help us to understand how people interpret  messages  – Sociocultural paradigm  – Psychodynamic    ...
Organizational Theory• Based on general systems theory: parts of  system are interrelated function as a whole that  is gre...
Communication and Behavioral           Theory• Behavioral models, theories replacing communication  models and theories as...
Symmetrical Behavioral Model• Gauge existing levels of awareness• Investigate responses in attempt to create, raise  or su...
Winning People Over• Three basic ways to get people to do what  you want:   – Power: use authority, implied or overt     t...
Steps in Persuasion Process•   Presenting•   Attending•   Comprehending•   Yielding•   Retaining•   Acting                ...
PR and Persuasion• Frequently used to change opinions• Most critical factor in opinion change is  information or the lack ...
Personal Persuaders• Organizations and significant others who  exercise leverage over others• Involves recognition and acc...
Impersonal Persuaders• Less potent and influential than personal  persuaders• Mass media editorials and advertisements• In...
Framing• Sometimes attributed to art• Definitions abound• Agreement focuses on three elements: selection,  emphasis, conne...
Opinion Makers and News           Managers• May be someone who creates an event that  becomes news when it happens and is ...
Propaganda and Persuasion              Appeals•   Name calling•   Glittering generalities•   Transfer•   Testimonials•   P...
Propaganda• Not necessarily negative• Nothing inherent about propaganda that  prevents it from being used to change  attit...
Cantril’s Laws• Events affect opinion• Demands for action are a common  response once opinion is formed• People will becom...
Cialdini’s Self-Persuasion               Elements• Consistency: once they commit to a position,  people are more likely to...
Cialdini’s Self-Persuasion          Elements (cont.)• Authority: people are more willing to follow  the suggestions of som...
Earl Newsom’s Persuasion             Principles• Identification: people will relate to an idea or  opinion if they see it ...
Earl Newsom’s Persuasion          Principles (cont.)• Familiarity and trust: people are unwilling to  accept ideas from so...
Opinion Leaders• Vocal activists• Opinion leaders, both mass media and  individuals• Power leaders: government officials, ...
Persuasion Strategies•   Stimulus-response•   Cognitive•   Motivational•   Social appeal•   Personality appeal            ...
Impediments to Persuasion• Cognitive dissonance could occur:  sometimes less social persuasion produces  more attitude cha...
Media Theories• Lasswell’s Theory: who says what in which  channels to whom with what effect   – Ignores feedback• Source ...
Media Theories (cont.)• Messages are the “what”  – The content has consequences  – So does the way it is presented (tellin...
Media Theories (cont.)– Each message should appeal to some  need or interest in the audience such as  Maslow’s hierarchy o...
Media Theories (cont.)– Each message needs texture: color, design,  movement, sound that appeal to the intended  audience–...
Media Theories (cont.)• Media are the channels  – Complexity of message influences choice: print handles    complexity bes...
Media Theories (cont.)• Receivers are the “to whom”   – Sometimes messages must be adjusted to minimize     differences be...
Media Theories (cont.)• Response to a message is the “with what effect”   – How people respond is a function of anticipati...
Models of Information Processing• Information processing is critical in  communication: models that predict behavior  succ...
Models of Information Processing              (cont.)• Individuals are more likely to seek and process  information if the...
Diffusion Process•   Awareness (presenting)•   Information( attending)•   Evaluation (comprehending)•   Trial (yielding)• ...
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Chapter5

  1. 1. Chapter 5Theoretical Underpinnings for PR This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  2. 2. Objectives• To understand that theories are ideas and not principles• To learn what theories might apply to particular PR situations• To test theories in PR practice to refine theoretical models• To realize that PR functions in organizational structures and particular communication environments and depends on volunteer readers, viewers, participants This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  3. 3. PR Theory• Borrowed from – Organizational and management theory – Political theory – Communication theory – Persuasion theory• All have roots in sociology and psychology with some connection to math, biology and physics This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  4. 4. Four Sociological Theories• Help us understand how people respond to mass and specialized communication – Structural functionalism – Evolutionary perspective – Social conflict – Symbolic interactionism This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  5. 5. Five Psychological Approaches• Often used in studies on the effects of mass communication – Neurobiological – Comparative – Behavioral – Psychoanalytic – Cognitive This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  6. 6. Two Persuasion Models• Help us to understand how people interpret messages – Sociocultural paradigm – Psychodynamic This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  7. 7. Organizational Theory• Based on general systems theory: parts of system are interrelated function as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts• Theoretical concept can be found in works of Hegel• Cultural approach looks at development, impact of organization’s culture• Critical approach examines sources of power and control in an organization• Postmodern approach focuses on post 1960s This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  8. 8. Communication and Behavioral Theory• Behavioral models, theories replacing communication models and theories as core underpinning of PR• Behavioral models suggest PR is social science• Behavioral models suggest PR communication must focus on direct, personal and not mass appeals• Behavioral models shift objective and focus away from communication model’s emphasis on creating or retaining awareness to creating and retaining a behavioral response• Behavioral models really asymmetrical even though PR “best practices” are symmetrical This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  9. 9. Symmetrical Behavioral Model• Gauge existing levels of awareness• Investigate responses in attempt to create, raise or sustain awareness• Measure latent readiness to act• Monitor responses to triggering event• Evaluate behavior to determine why particular action was taken This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  10. 10. Winning People Over• Three basic ways to get people to do what you want: – Power: use authority, implied or overt threat of compulsion – Patronage: as crude as bribery, as delicate as celebrity endorsement – Persuasion: using communication to win people over This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  11. 11. Steps in Persuasion Process• Presenting• Attending• Comprehending• Yielding• Retaining• Acting This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  12. 12. PR and Persuasion• Frequently used to change opinions• Most critical factor in opinion change is information or the lack thereof• Critical how information is presented or withheld• Access to information and selective use of it combines tools of power and persuasion This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  13. 13. Personal Persuaders• Organizations and significant others who exercise leverage over others• Involves recognition and acceptance of their authority This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  14. 14. Impersonal Persuaders• Less potent and influential than personal persuaders• Mass media editorials and advertisements• Information disseminated by educational and government institutions• Content of entertainment This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  15. 15. Framing• Sometimes attributed to art• Definitions abound• Agreement focuses on three elements: selection, emphasis, connection of information to lead readers/viewers to a particular conclusion• PR practitioners frame issues This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  16. 16. Opinion Makers and News Managers• May be someone who creates an event that becomes news when it happens and is covered• May be someone who focuses media attention on an event that might be otherwise overlooked This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  17. 17. Propaganda and Persuasion Appeals• Name calling• Glittering generalities• Transfer• Testimonials• Plain folks• Bandwagon• Card stacking• Emotional stereotypes• Illicit silence• Subversive rhetoric This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  18. 18. Propaganda• Not necessarily negative• Nothing inherent about propaganda that prevents it from being used to change attitudes and behavior constructively• Propagandists try to teach people what to think, while educators try to teach people how to think This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  19. 19. Cantril’s Laws• Events affect opinion• Demands for action are a common response once opinion is formed• People will become involved out of self interest• People seek leaders for issues around which opinion develops• Reliability is difficult to assess This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  20. 20. Cialdini’s Self-Persuasion Elements• Consistency: once they commit to a position, people are more likely to perform behaviors consistent with that position – Draws on Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance – Draws on Rokeach’s theory of beliefs, attitudes and values• Reciprocity: people are influenced by a sense that they “owe” or are beholden to others• Social validation: people are more influenced to behave in a certain way This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  21. 21. Cialdini’s Self-Persuasion Elements (cont.)• Authority: people are more willing to follow the suggestions of someone considered a legitimate authority• Scarcity: people want items and opportunities that are viewed as scarce or dwindling This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  22. 22. Earl Newsom’s Persuasion Principles• Identification: people will relate to an idea or opinion if they see it having a direct effect on them• Suggestion of action: people will respond to ideas that are accompanied by a proposed action by the sponsor of the idea or if the recipients themselves propose it This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  23. 23. Earl Newsom’s Persuasion Principles (cont.)• Familiarity and trust: people are unwilling to accept ideas from sources if they don’t trust or know them• Clarity: people need to clearly understand the meaning of an idea before they can be persuaded to accept it This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  24. 24. Opinion Leaders• Vocal activists• Opinion leaders, both mass media and individuals• Power leaders: government officials, legislators, others who have power to take actions• Increasingly it is the power leaders who have the most influence This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  25. 25. Persuasion Strategies• Stimulus-response• Cognitive• Motivational• Social appeal• Personality appeal This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  26. 26. Impediments to Persuasion• Cognitive dissonance could occur: sometimes less social persuasion produces more attitude change because people feel they have freely chosen a particular opinion or behavior• Truth is personal: much “truth” is circumstantial, subjective so the same “truth” may be interpreted differently by different individuals This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  27. 27. Media Theories• Lasswell’s Theory: who says what in which channels to whom with what effect – Ignores feedback• Source is the “who” – Credibility, expertise generally important – People tend to believe sources that are like them or who they want to be like – People also tend to seek authority in sources – Source characteristics can be negated if a message lacks quality, plausibility This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  28. 28. Media Theories (cont.)• Messages are the “what” – The content has consequences – So does the way it is presented (telling both sides, linking the familiar to the unfamiliar) – Repetition generally increases learning – Always tell people what they are expected to think or do – Present something of value to the public and be compatible with the public’s mindset – Each message needs a purpose This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  29. 29. Media Theories (cont.)– Each message should appeal to some need or interest in the audience such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: • physical needs • safety • love • self-esteem • self-actualization This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  30. 30. Media Theories (cont.)– Each message needs texture: color, design, movement, sound that appeal to the intended audience– Message language must mean the same thing to the audience as it does to the source and must have maximum impact on the viewer or listener: no jargon, maximum clarity, maximum emotional impact– Messages are increasingly globally accessible, cultural considerations, different values are increasingly important This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  31. 31. Media Theories (cont.)• Media are the channels – Complexity of message influences choice: print handles complexity best, video best for simple messages – Some messages involve their audiences more: computers interactively involve, TV passively involves – Media orientation of public most critical factor to consider in choosing a channel: uses and gratifications research essential – Knowing not just who receives the channel but who pays attention to it and remembers it is important – Knowing which channels are considered credible also should be a factor in choosing the right medium This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  32. 32. Media Theories (cont.)• Receivers are the “to whom” – Sometimes messages must be adjusted to minimize differences between the source and receivers – If messages are “tuned out” they are not really received – Messages must be encoded into something personally meaningful to an intended receiver – Distortions, distractions, noise must be taken into account – Symbols must be chosen carefully to be sure they have intended meaning to the receivers – Receiver stereotypes must be taken into account both in terms of how they influence encoding and decoding of messages This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  33. 33. Media Theories (cont.)• Response to a message is the “with what effect” – How people respond is a function of anticipation, expectations and assumptions – Comprehension and acceptance of messages must occur before a receiver can fashion a response – Some receivers will respond to group dynamics in fashioning their response – Others will strive to reduce discrepancies or cognitive dissonance – Some people take behavior cues from external causes, while others respond to internal causes – All opinions, attitudes and actions are affected by family, friends, informal work groups and formal groups, so no message “works” in isolation from these influences This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  34. 34. Models of Information Processing• Information processing is critical in communication: models that predict behavior successfully are especially useful in a public relations communications campaign• Grunig’s model of publics and how they seek and process information is significant• Publics range from active to inactive, and their behavior ranges from seeking information to just processing it This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  35. 35. Models of Information Processing (cont.)• Individuals are more likely to seek and process information if they think it will help them solve a problem and if they are personally involved• Those who are constrained are less likely to either seek or process information This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
  36. 36. Diffusion Process• Awareness (presenting)• Information( attending)• Evaluation (comprehending)• Trial (yielding)• Adoption (retaining)• Reinforcement ( retaining) This is PR 11th Edition Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg
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