The main topic of class today was about Persuasive tactics and skills a Public Relations professional can use when dealing communication between audiences. But we first discussed some of the things a that would help a PR pro when working with a potential client:
1. Do your homework- Research the company by utilizing Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or checking out the company’s blog
2. Listen- What is the client looking for? Write down the things they tell you and start formulating questions and ideas.
3. Define the scope of work- How much is your client looking for? What kinds of processes are going to need to be implemented in order to finish the projects?
4. Feedback- Did your client get what they wanted? If so, get a positive reference from them.
Public Opinion refers to the vastly differing opinions of people everywhere. It is very elusive and extremely difficult to measure at any given moment, but, is an important factor in persuasive writing to large publics. According to THINK: Public Relations, understanding and assessing the dynamics of competing or conflicting opinions is a crucial dimension of public relations work. In order to further understand how to be persuasive in a elusively opinionated culture, there are multiple factors that contribute such as utilizing opinion leaders, mass media, conflict and assessing the factors that go into the communication process in general.
Opinion leaders are merely knowledgeable experts, celebrities or spokespeople who articulate opinions about specific issues in public discussions. Leaders as these are useful in catalyzing a flow of opinion, starting trends and viral-izing ideas.
Yes, PR people can use opinion leaders to influence their public’s opinions, but they can also reach targeted audiences directly via the mass media such as television, radio, newspapers, blogs and/or magazines. People tend to talk about the things they see or hear from TV or in newspapers and understanding and utilizing who controls the media and who sets the media agenda will help influence public opinion as well.
Conflict is any situation that two or more groups, organizations or committees have a difference of opinion in the same interests. Conflict in the public arena doesn’t necessarily yield negative results but actually creates a constructive process that leads to a consensus.
Lastly, each component, or factor, of persuasive communication process will help a PR pro as well. There are many factors, but to name a few: analyze the characteristics of the audience, clearly define suggested actions, source the credibility of the information, use simple language to avoid misunderstanding and utilize different channels to reach targeted audiences.
There were many topics that we went over in class, but to discuss all of them would be similar to typing a short book!
To check out more information about persuasive writing, though, check out the THINK: Public Relations textbook 2011 edition or visit blogs from PR professionals such as the Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques.