Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chapter 2 - Theories of Communication

1. Why Communication Theories?
  PR professionals should have an idea about these theories because they represent the conceptual foundations which help them understand the underpinnings of successful PR strategy.

2. The Two Step Flow Theory
  It was developed by Paul Lazarsfeld in 1948. This theory argues that ideas flow from the mass media to the opinion leaders and from them to the less active sections of the population.

3. The Concentric-Circle
  This theory was developed by Elmo Roper, and it states that ideas evolve gradually to the public at large moving in concentric circles from!
     . great thinkers to
     . great disciples to
     . great disseminators to
     . lesser disseminators to
     . the active audience to
     . the inert

4. Pat Jackson's PR Model
  The model developed by Pat Jackson takes the form of a five-step process:
     1. Building awareness, through publicity, advertising, face-to-face communication
     2. Developing a latent readiness
        Publics begin to form opinion at this stage.
     3. Triggering event
        Publics want to change their behavior.
      4. Intermediate behavior
        This is the investigative period when an individual is determining how best to apply a desired behavior.
     5. Behavioral change through the adoption of a new behavior.

5. The SEMDR Communication Process
     PR function most comes into play in the encoding and the decoding stages.

6. Spiral of Silence Theory
  This theory was developed by Elisabeth Noelle Neumann
  It argued that people tend to remain silent when they feel that their views are in the minority. Therefore, they form the silent majority that fears becoming isolated, and choose to vote with the majority.

7. Constructivism
  This theory suggests that knowledge is constructed, not transmitted. In this sense, the task of the communicator is to understand how receivers think about the issue in question and work to challenge their preconceived notions with the goal of converting their views.

8. Coordinated Management Meaning
  This theory is based on social interaction. It argues that when we communicate, we construct our social realities. We each have our stories of life experience that we share through interaction. Consequently, we coordinate our beliefs and ideas with each other so that a mutual outcome might occur.

9. Grunig-Hunt PR Models
  Grunig and Hunt propose four models to define public relation communications.
     . Press agentry/ publicity
      One way communication that beams messages from the source to the receivers with the intention of winning favorable media attention.
     . Public information
      One way communication designed to inform rather than to persuade.
     . Two way asymmetric
       A two-way communication that allows an organization to put out its information and receive feedback from its publics about that information.
     . Two way symmetric
        A preferred two-way communication that advocates free and equal information flow between the organization and its public based on mutual understanding.

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