Public Opinion and Persuasion

1 Nov

Public Opinion and Persuasion

Chapter 9

Text: Public Relations Strategies and Tactics-9th Edition-Wilcox, D. & Cameron, G.

What “public opinion” ?

                “Public opinion is the collective expression of opinion of many individuals bound into a group by common aims, aspirations, needs, and ideals.”

Opinion Leaders as Catalysts

                People who are knowledgeable and articulate about specific issues.

  1. Highly interested in a subject or issue
  2. Better informed than average person
  3. Avid consumer of mass media
  4. Early adopter
  5. Good organizers who can get others to take action

Types of Leaders

                Formal opinion leaders and informal opinion leaders.

  1. Active in community
  2. College degree
  3. Earning relatively high income
  4. Regularly reading newspaper and magazines
  5. Actively participates in recreational activities
  6. Shows environmental concern by recycling.

The Role of Mass Media

                Agenda-setting theory, media-dependency theory, framing theory, and conflict theory.

Persuasion: Pervasive in Our Lives

                Uses of persuasion

  1. Change or neutralize hostile opinions
  2. Crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
  3. Conserve favorable opinions.

Factors in Persuasive Communication

  1. Audience analysis 2. Source credibility 3. Appeal of self-interest 4. Clarity of message 5. Timing and context 6. Audience participation 7. Suggestions for actions 8. Content and structure of messages 9. Persuasive speaking


                Plain folks, testimonial, bandwagon, card stacking, transfer, and glittering generalities.

Persuasion and Manipulation

                Effective persuasive messages can be listed as:

  1. Lack of message penetration
  2. Competing messages
  3. Self-selection
  4. Self-perception

Ethics of Persuasion

                List on p. 241


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