Chapter 2

February 6, 2010 hkbarnes

While reading Chapter 2 in, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox, I learned several interesting things.

The first interesting thing I learned was about rhetoric.  According to the book, rhetoric is simply the at of persuasive writing.  It stems from the ancient Greeks and Aristotle.  He also was the first to come up with the ideas behind, ethos, pathos, and logos.  Ethos is the credibility and character of the speaker.  Pathos is the emotional appeal of the speech.  Logos is the logic of the speech.

The uses and gratification theory was also an interesting idea.  The communicator’s job is to inform and get the recipients excited about the information.  In turn, recipients want to have their needs fulfilled.  It is a never-ending cycle of constantly satisfying the other.

When trying to figure out what messages a fit for certain audiences.  Focus on their needs.  Maslow came with his Hierarchy of Needs theory.

  1. Psychological Needs
  2. Safety Needs
  3. Social Needs
  4. Ego Needs
  5. Self-actualization needs

Several important tips the books give on writing persuasive messages:

  • Communicate with people, not at them.
  • Maintain credibility.
  • Tailor messages to the audiences communication channels.
  • Maintain consistency so that the basic content is the same regardless or the context.

**A public relations writer must be aware of what the audience wants to know.

The idea of semantics was also foreign to me before reading this chapter.  According  text, semantics is the study of meaning given to words and the changes that occur in these meanings as time goes on.  It is a specific type of linguistics.  Semantics is important to writing persuasively because you must be sensitive to the words you use and the context in which they are used too.

Ethics is also very important when writing persuasively.  Some tend to think that writing persuasively can be unethical and nasty.  But, you have to understand that the audience is expecting you not to lead them astray or lie to them.  If you steer them wrong, they will hold in against you and find it hard to trust you again.


Entry Filed under: PRCA 3330-reading notes,Uncategorized

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