PRAD 255 - Module 5 - Communications - Part 2


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Communication: Implementing the PR plan (PART 2) Matt Ragas Principles of Public Relations

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ABC News – How to Stop an Oil Spill

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Using triggering events to gain attention for your message Trigger event: events that pre-dispose the public to behave in a certain way; serves as a catalyst for action Examples: Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Oil Spill, September 11th, tsunami in Indonesia, a widely publicized computer virus, celebrity news (Chris Brown/Rihanna, Lindsay Lohan DUI) What organizations might have integrated these trigger events into their PR campaigns?

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Remembering the message Repetition, repetition, repetition Not all members of your audience will see or hear the message at the same time; prevents erosion Repetition helps break through the clutter Effective communication and retention of a message requires conveying it using multiple channels

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Five-stage adoption process for acting on a message Diffusion of innovation theory by Everett Rogers outlines a five-stage adoption process: Awareness Interest Evaluation Trial Adoption Note: Not everyone goes through all five stages before adoption of a message, idea, or product. The audience may terminate the process at any step i.e. not everyone will end up adopting.

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Where do publics get information at in each stage of the adoption process? Awareness  mass media (publicity, ads) Interest  seek out in-depth articles, seek brochures/related materials, go to organization website, meetings to learn more Evaluation, Trial and Adoption  Personal experience, opinions of friends and family, personal contact with credible sources/experts (“word of mouth”) more influential than mass media

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Categories of adopters (also Everett Rogers) Innovators: Earliest adopters; eager to try new products/ideas/messages Early Adopters: Savvy, keep up with new trends, often an opinion leader Early Majority: Take deliberate, pragmatic approach to adoption Late Majority: Tend to be skeptical, resistant, but bow to peer pressure Laggards Very traditional, last in group to adopt something “new”

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Word-of-mouth in PR campaigns Diffusion of innovation research shows that the influence of peers and colleagues (“opinion leaders”) is important in the adoption process Word-of-mouth (WOM): Innovators and early adopters are important in PR campaigns since they are at the vanguard of forming public opinion on a new product, idea, cause, etc.

Summary: PRAD 255 - Module 5 - Communications - Part 2 (Matt Ragas)

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