Chapter 9 Notes

Public Opinion and Persuasion

  • Public opinion is elusive and extremely difficult to measure.
  • Types of leaders
    • Formal opinion leaders: hold positions such as elected officials, presidents of companies or heads of membership groups. Also called power leaders
    • Informal opinion leaders: those who have clout with peers because of some special characteristic. Role models who are admired and emulate or opinion leaders who can exert peer pressure on others. Highly informed, articulate and credible on particular issues.
    • 10 to 12 percent of the general public are opinion leaders.
    • Mass media means that information from a PR source can be efficiently and rapidly disseminated to literally millions of people.
    • Wayne Wanta has explored second level agenda setting effects, finding evidence that the media not only set an agenda but also convey a set of attributes about the subject of the news.
    • Mass media effects also are increased when people cannot verify information through personal experience or knowledge. Particularly in crisis situations
    • Framing theory
      • Impacts public understanding and consequently policy information
      • Conflict theory
        • Generate or promote conflict or controversy to gain positive position in the marketplace of ideas.
        • Persuasion is used to
  1. Change or neutralize hostile opinion
  2. Crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
  3. Conserve favorable opinions
  • Audience analysis
    • Psychographics- this method attempts to classify people by lifestyle, attitudes, and beliefs.
    • The most persuasive messages are direct, simply expressed and contain only on primary idea.
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June 25, 2010. Uncategorized.

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