Chapter 2 in Public Relations Writing And Media Techniques, 6th ed. by Dennis L. Wilcox is titled “Becoming a Persuasive Writer.”

The basic communication process has four elements:

  1. Sender
  2. Message
  3. A channel
  4. A receiver

The diffusion process explains how people acquire new ideas using these five steps:

  1. Awareness- the person discovers the idea or product
  2. Interest- the person tries to get more information
  3. Trial- the person tries the idea on others or samples the product
  4. Evaluation- the person decides whether the idea works for his or her own self-interest
  5. Adoption- the person incorporates the idea into his or her opinion or begins to use the product
  • The public relations writer is the most influential at the awareness and interest stages of the process
  • A person does not necessarily have to  go through all five stages

This chapter also discusses persuasion and propaganda. Propaganda is the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.  The different techniques used in propaganda are:

  • Plain folks
  • Testimonial
  • Bandwagon
  • Card stacking
  • Transfer
  • Glittering generalities