Chapter 7 Summary: Communication

Communication is essential to a PR proffessional.  It is the tool which is used to impliment the plan that was put into place, what ever the goal may be.  It achieves several things when it is performed properly; these things are persuade, inform, motivate and achieve a mutual understanding.  In the communication process, regardless to how the message is delievered, the most inportant thing is the message.  Even if the audience listens to the message, this does not mean that the retaiin it.  In order for the message to be properly received, Patrick Jackson composed a list of requirements that must be met. 

  • Appropriate
  • Meaningful
  • Memorable
  • Understandable
  • Believable

Once the proper message is prepared, it must then be delievered properly.  A professor at the University of Maryland, James Grunig, created a list of things that the message must meet if is to be properly received:

  • Message exposure: The message can either be delievered to a mass audience or a target audience.  The message will differ depending on the targeted market.
  • Accurate dissemination of the message: After the message is passed through several mediums, the desired message is still in tact.
  • Acceptance of the message: The audience not only remembers the message, but also believes it.
  • Attitude change: The message is accepted so much that the audience makes a point to change their behavior because of it.
  • Change in overt behavior: They actually change because of the message.

On the other side of the communication process is the receiver.  As a PR professional, a key to the communication process is that there is two-way communication.  This is where the research techniques come into play.  Surveys and focus groups are valuable in this area, especially when it can be done face to face, when a true reaction can be seen.

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