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  1. Public Relations Notes Instructor Dr. Ilias Hristodoulakis, Ph.D Athens, Greece Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  2. What is Public Relations • What is this thing called public relations? • The term public relations is often confusing because it is frequently used inaccurately. • According to many self-called PR practitioners as well as to managers publicity, like public relations and corporate advertising, consists of promotional program elements that may be of great benefit to the marketing. Continuing, they recommend that the use of public relations in the promotion mix is a very good idea taking into consideration that: • public relation is a cheap mean of communication, because mostly is coming free through publicity, and • it is perceived by consumers as a more credible source than other media of promotion such as advertising. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  3. What is Public Relations • As a result public relations is related to the promotional activities, and is one technical activity used by marketing to promote the image of corporations and products. • Public relations is a uniquemanagement function which helps organizations to establish and maintain mutual lines ofcommunications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation with their public(s). It involves themanagement of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of the management to serve not only the organization but most important the public(s)’ interest(s); helps management to stay familiar with environmental changes; serving as a warning system to help predict trends; and uses research and symmetrical communication techniques as its principal tools. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  4. What is Public Relations • 1) Public relations is a unique management function • Public relations practitioners need to be part of the total organization, in surveying the environment and in helping to define the mission, goals, and objectives of the organization. • participation of the head of the public relation department in the dominant coalition, for defining the mission and planning the present and future strategy of the organization. • The boundary role: they function as a liaison between the organization and its external and internal publics. To put it in different words, public relation managers have one foot inside the organization and the other outside. • Public relations departments help organizations maintaining mutual lines ofcommunications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation with their public(s); Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  5. What is Public Relations • The first step of strategic management of public relations is to - make a list of the people who are linked to or have a stake in the organization • after thoroughly researching their public(s) ranking them according their impact on the organization or the extent to which the organization believes it should moderate its consequences on them; • plan ongoing communication programs with the most important public(s). The communication activities between organization and public(s), need to be based on the principle of symmetrical communication. • As a result communications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation with their public(s). Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  6. What is Public Relations • Public relations departments help organizations to manage problems or issues • Organizations in which the public relations department is part of their decision management level, will have resolved most of the problems with publics before they become issues. • Excellent public relations departments make sure that they scan the environment around the organization and balance their organization mission with external and internal demands • On the one hand, they must interpreter the philosophies, policies, programs, and practices of their management to the public(s); and on the other hand, they must translate the attitudes and reactions of the public(s) to their management. • Even when they are not represented in the dominant coalition, as environmental scanners, public relations practitioners are sensitive to changes taking place in the larger environment surrounding the organization that may influence the public opinion. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  7. What is Public Relations • Public relations serves not only the organization but most important the public(s)’ interest(s) • Public relations practitioners must constantly communicate with many different publics, each having each own special needs and requiring different types of communications. • Public relations practitioners’ role is to identify with critical publics with whom the organization must communicate on a frequent and direct basis. • Under the quittance of public relations, organizations learn of how to get more sensitive to the self interests, desires, and concerns of each public. • They understand that self interest groups today are themselves more complex and with more power than ever before. • They harmonizing actions necessary to win and maintain support among each groups. • Emphasizing and achieving a win- win arrangement. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  8. What is Public Relations • Excellent public relations departments must use research techniques as its principal tools for developing decisions • If communicators and public relations practitioners are decision makers, then operations research can contribute to public relations management by helping to provide decisions that produce efficient and/or effective courses of action in a rigorous and demonstrable manner. Operations research can be used to help develop well formulated objectives, that is, • assist in goal setting; • discover states of nature (situation analysis); • identify possible strategies, • competitive strategies; • handle excessive numbers of strategies and states of nature; • determine outcome; • evaluate outcomes, that is quantifying the outcome's desirability; and • select a specific strategy that is the best or the most efficient or both. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  9. What is Public Relations • The three primary forms of public relations research, as they have been suggested are methods, mostly indirect, of observing human behavior • surveys to reveal attitudes and opinions, • communication audits to evaluate how an organization is doing with respect to particular public(s), and • unobtrusive measures such as fact finding, content analysis, and readability studies. • As a result helps management to stay familiar with environmental changes; to predict trends Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  10. What is Public Relations • Organizations with good public relations departments are always using two ways symmetrical systems of communication Under an asymmetrical communication system, organizations are striving to convince their practitioners that the organization knows best and that publics benefit from cooperating with the organizations decisions. Thus, the role of the practitioners to persuade publics to follow decisions made by the organization. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  11. What is Public Relations • On the other hand, organizations that basing their communication systems on symmetrical models recognize that they cannot isolate themselves from their environment. Acknowledging that publics and other organizations operating in the same external and/or internal environment interrelated with the organization, and freely exchanging information with those organizations and publics, establishing an equilibrium state that constantly move as the environment changes. Symmetrical models of communication are conflict resolution oriented rather than persuasion. Conflicts are resolved through negotiation, communication, and compromise and not through force, manipulation, coercion, or violence. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  12. What Is Public Relations: The four Models of PR Press Agentry/Publicity ForPropaganda purpose , one way communication– complete truth is not essential, Source – Receiver as com. model, the initiative is always strongly in the hands of the source/sender. The means are usually strait forward advertising or other promotional activities Public Information For dissemination of information purpose, one way communication but truth is important, source receiver as communication model, it is one way communication w/out usually the purpose of persuasion. little research usually readability and readership, is used for Government- nonprofit associations, businesses Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  13. The four Models of PR Two way Asymmetric For Scientific persuasion purposes, two way imbalanced effectscommunication, source – receiver – source com. Model, research is formative with evaluation of attitudes, typical use in competitive business and agencies Two Way Symmetric For mutual understanding purposes, two way balanced effects, symmetrical mod., formative with evaluation of understanding, typical used in regulated business and agencies Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  14. PR the Communication Management: NATURE OF COMMUNICATION • Need for a common ground • Feedback • The role of the senses • Source – message encoding – channel – message decoding – receiver • Noise and Feedback Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  15. THE GOALS OF COMMUNICATION • Inform • Persuade • Motivate • Mutual understanding Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  16. A PUBLIC RELATIONS PERSPECTIVE • Questions to Focus Materials Produced - Is it appropriate? - Is it meaningful? - Is it memorable? - Is it understandable? - Is it believable? • Determine objectives • Based on the Awareness Interest Desire Action model • Informational • motivational Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  17. The Communication Process: From Theory to Practice • In Communication we are generally concerned with persuading people in one way or another, even if it's only persuading them that we're quite nice people. • We therefore will often be concerned with examining people's needs, in order that we can respond to those needs in our communication. People's needs motivate them to act; if we can identify those needs, we have a chance of motivating them to do what we want them to do, even if only attend to our communication in the first place. • One humanist psychologist who is constantly referred to in the study of Communication is Abraham Maslow, who developed the 'hierarchy of needs' shown in the graphic. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  18. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  19. Maslow emphasised the human need for self-actualisation, the realisation of one's full potential as a human being. According to Maslow, before one can set about self-actualisation, a person has first to solve the problems associated with the four lower-level needs of the hierarchy: • Physical/survival needs: you must satisfy your physical wants before you can take the next step up the motivational hierarchy; • Safety needs: once you have satisfied your basic biological needs, you can get on with exploring your environment. It is well known, however, that a child will not begin to explore unless it feels secure. But the drive for safety is in itself a motivator for exploration - when you know 'what's out there' in the world, your uncertainty is reduced, the world s more predictable and 'safe'; Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  20. Social needs: these are 'belongingness' needs. Maslow claims that we have an innate need to affiliate with others in search of affection and love. Through empathising with others we learn also to see the world from different points of view; • Esteem needs: the groups we affiliate with help us to set our life's goals. They can provide us with feedback on how well we are doing in pursuit of those goals. The closer we get, the more esteem we are likely to receive from others and feel for ourselves; • Self-actualization needs: when we have acquired sufficient self-esteem we are confident enough to go on to realise our full potential, expressing ourselves in our own unique way. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  21. Maslow's hierarchy has the benefit of attempting a holistic account of human motivation, considering a range of influences on human behaviour. It is questionable whether, in the light of contemporary notions such as the decentred self, humanistic psychology's conception of the self is still tenable, though it has to be said that many people who have experienced Rogerian counselling will testify to its efficacy. • Maslow's hierarchy has also been criticised for being based on Maslow's study of successful individuals in Western society. To what extent it might apply to non-Western societies or to non-middle- or upper-class individuals is not clear. Nor is it clear why there should be five stages rather than sixty-eight and it is certainly not clear why he believes that we must progress through the stages - one could think of artists, for example, who have shown scant regard for their survival needs, or even esteem needs, appearing to jump straight to working on their self-actualisation. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  22. Certainly, it is hard to see how any but totally isolated people could satisfy their survival needs independently of, say, social needs. Hunter-gatherers live together, hunt and forage together, their survival is entirely dependent on society. So is mine of course in the sense that my ability to buy things from shops depends on certain infrastructures in society, but it's also the case that I can't buy things from shops without engaging in an at least a rudimentary form of social intercourse. To separate out each of these needs in the way that Maslow does seems highly artificial. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  23. Nevertheless, there is some empirical evidence from Harlow's experiments with monkeys which tends to support Maslow's ideas. • Whatever criticisms may be made of Maslow, the notion that something like these needs seems to motivate people has been taken on by marketers. Think of the way that house insurance companies offer free smoke or burglar alarms as incentives (safety needs) • all those adverts which show the product at the centre of groups of happy people (social needs) • marketing which pushes the high status of the product (esteem needs) • Microsoft's current emphasis on exploration of ideas and one's self through modern technology, their slogan 'Where do you want to go today?' (self-actualisation needs) Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  24. The Communication Process: Source • Communicator: Source • Credibility • The principal characteristic of the Communicator affecting his or her persuasiveness is his or her credibility. Credibility itself is made up of a variety of factors: • Trustworthiness: • Is this person honest? • Can I believe what he's telling me? If Bill Clinton has had an affair and not told his wife, then how do I know he won't lie to me as well? Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  25. Politicians will also try to undermine their opponents' credibility by pointing to self-contradictions in their past - if (former Labour Party leader) Neil Kinnock was vehemently opposed to Britain's membership of the European Union and in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament, how can you believe him now that he's a fervent supporter of European union and opposed to disarmament? • Advertisers will sometimes use 'trustworthy' people to endorse their product: the jazz critic George Melly to endorse Sony's headphones, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Robert Mark to endorse Goodyear tyres and so on Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  26. In a 1953 experiment conducted by Kelman and Hovland subjects were played a message which recommended more lenient treatment of juvenile offenders. In the one case, the source of the message was said to be a judge in a juvenile court, in the other case an alleged drug dealer. Unsurprisingly, when the subjects were assessed immediately after hearing the messages, they found the high-credibility source (the judge) to be more persuasive). Three weeks later they were again assessed. This time, half the subjects were reminded who the source was. It turned out that where there was a reminder, the subjects maintained their original position, but, where there was none, there was a significant decrease in the persuasion of the high-credibility condition. (There was also a very minor, but insignificant, increase in the low-credibility condition.) Hovland argued that over the course of time the connexion between the 'cue' (i.e. the communicator's credibility) and the message became dissociated. He termed this the sleeper effect. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  27. Sorokin and Baldyreff played listeners two records of a classical music piece, each bearing exactly the same performance. Listeners were told in advance that one of the performances had been judged as significantly better by music critics. 96% of subjects considered the performances were different and 59% agreed with the alleged opinion of the experts. • Orson Welles's War of the Worlds broadcast was doubtless also effective in part because of the perceived prestige of those allegedly commenting on the 'invasion' - the fictitious Prof. Farrell of the Mount Jennings Observatory, Prof. Morse of McMillan University, General Montgomery Smith, commander of the Trenton state militia and others Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  28. Expertise: Does this person know what he's talking about? Hence the tendency of politicians to spout statistics at the slightest provocation and the tendency of computer consultants to use computer jargon to people they know don't understand it. • The perceived expertise of the source is likely to be more persuasive if the audience have no particular commitment to the subject under discussion. If people have some knowledge of the subject, then they probably have some arguments or counterarguments already prepared. If not, then they'll probably use some general rule of thumb, like 'This bloke's paid to teach Communication Studies, so I suppose he knows what he's talking about.' (!) Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  29. Attractiveness: We know from our studies of NVC that physical attractiveness often works in a person's favour. Judges give attractive people lighter sentences, college lecturers give them better marks and so on. Presidential and Prime Ministerial candidates have themselves remodelled by image consultants. One presidential hopeful is even rumoured to have had plastic surgery. • Attractiveness is not only a matter of physical attractiveness, though. Other factors such as similarity and familiarity are important: • 'Is he my sort of person?', • 'I've never heard of her before.' • 'Does he look like my sort of person?' • 'He sounds like a complete idiot' and so on. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  30. So, a leader from specific local area might use a strong accent when addressing a rally in this area, though he uses a regular one when being interviewed on TV. • There are numerous factors which influence attractiveness, for example the paralinguistic aspects of speech, which led Prime Minister Thatcher to take lessons in voice control, so that she appeared less strident and developed the sound of measured, breathy sincerity which became her hallmark. Humour is another factor, which explains why we find comedians being used for the voice-overs on a variety of commercials. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  31. There is an exception to this general rule of attractiveness, though. If a liked communicator's recommendations are seen as stemming from internal factors (e.g. her special interests, her bias, her self-interest), but those of a disliked communicator are seen as stemming from external factors ('that's the way things are'), then the disliked communicator can be more persuasive • If the source of a message was perceived as having low credibility, then the message would be interpreted as biased and unfair. That effect could probably be explained by the need to maintain cognitive consistency. High credibility sources were shown by Hovland and his colleagues to be likely to have a significant effect on the positive reception of the message. However, the effects of high and low credibility sources were demonstrated to disappear after a period of some weeks - a potential problem for the propagandist. However, Hovland's research does suggest that a rational presentation of the arguments for or against a particular. position might be less important than who presents them. More recent investigations into cognitive response theory may also shed some light on this. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  32. Power: Under the heading of 'power' Hovland and his colleagues considered the amount of control the Communicator has over Receivers. Clearly, this will have some persuasive effect. If Hitler's Brownshirts are likely to beat you up if you don't do what they tell you, then there's a good chance they'll do what they tell you. Further Education colleges up and down the country are introducing major changes to their employees' working conditions. Very many employees consider these entirely unreasonable, but, since the college managers have the power to deny them a pay increase ever again unless they sign the new contracts, many employees sign up. • Forcing people to do what you want may bring about compliance, but does not guarantee internalisation. In other words, people comply with your demands, but they retain the values they had before and continue to see your behaviour as wrong and therefore comply grudgingly or attempt to subvert your demands or even revolt. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  33. The Communication Process: Message • Message • Is it important to argue your case? • To any rational person, it may seem self-evident that the best way to persuade someone of your point of view is to present them with a reasoned argument. In fact, it seems quite clear that much depends on the audience. If people are unable, or unwilling, to pay close attention to your message and evaluate it, then there is no point in developing a thoughtful, reasoned argument; in such a case its better to try to use, say, classical conditioning (see the section on conditioned reflex) as a means of persuasion. It does seem to help if you give a reason in support of your views, but research suggests that it doesn't necessarily have to be a particularly good reason. • In an experiment by Hellen Langer (unfortunately, I've lost the reference), she arranged with her college librarian that all of the photocopiers but one would be 'out of order'. This rapidly produced long queues in front of the one remaining photocopier. Her confederates then approached those in the line qith a request to jump the queue. Not surprisingly, 'Can I use the photocopier?' was a good deal less successful than 'Can I use the photocopier? I'm late for my class.' Amazingly, though, 'Can I use the photocopier? I have to make some copies' was only marginally less successful than 'I'm late for my class'. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  34. Type of Appeal • Fear • An appeal to fear is often thought of as being an effective persuasive device. Of course, it can be if you're actually threatening the Receiver, but that's not what is meant here. What is meant here is that the message appeals to fear, perhaps showing the Receiver what will happen to her if she persists in her current behaviour. In advertising, direct appeals to fear of this sort are strictly limited by the ASA, though they do tend to be tolerated more in public information advertising, e.g. an AIDS campaign. • You might expect that an appeal based on fear has to be hard-hitting to be effective. However, a study conducted by Janis and Feschbach in 1954 suggests that a minimal appeal is likely to be more effective. They used three different versions of a lecture on dental hygiene. The strong appeal provoked the most tension in the audience, but the greatest change in behaviour n conformity with the message was produced by the minimal appeal to fear. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  35. This probably suggests that when people feel they can do nothing about the threat then they are not likely to change their behaviour. They may well repress their anxiety (see defence mechanisms). An appeal to fear should probably be counterbalanced by the reassurance that it is possible to do something about it. It's probably worth mentioning also that Leventahl and others found in a 1956 study that a high degree of fear did indeed lead to higher attitudinal change, in contrast to what Janis and Feshbach found. In their case, however, they were dealing with tetanus rather than oral hygiene, which suggests that the question of fear arousal cannot be divorced from the subject matter of the message. • The 1992 drink-driving campaign at Christmas was particularly hard-hitting, in fact provoking a number of complaints. It showed a close-up of a young woman with a ventilator in her mouth, her eyes wide open in a glassy stare. The ambulance crew could be heard busying themselves around her, as the blue lights flashed constantly across her face. In the background we could hear an anguished motorist asking for reassurance that she would be all right and protesting that he hadn't intended to do anyone any harm. Great things were expected of the campaign, but it seems in fact to have been less effective than others. A possible explanation is that the motor car is seen as an essential part of everyday life, just as essential as walking. Cars kill, as all motorists know, but there is nothing they can do about it. Conceivably, the ad was perceived as stating strongly that cars kill people, rather than differentiating between the causes of accidents. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  36. Consequently, drivers would see that they could avoid such horrendous accidents only by stopping driving, something they of course 'can't' do. • It's perhaps worth remarking in passing that a general atmosphere of fear may also contribute to the success of a message. This of course is a factor extraneous to the message and thus does not properly belong here under 'message', but should rather be under a heading such as 'context'. For example, Orson Welles's War of the Worlds broadcast may have owed some of its success to the general atmosphere of fear and confusion which prevailed in world affairs at the time. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  37. Vocabulary • If we are persuaded by an 'expert' communicator, then the chances are that some technical jargon will increase the apparent expertise. The ability to use certain kinds of vocabulary is also associated with the 'elaborated code' identified by Bernstein and valorised by the education system, so that may also contribute to the apparent expertise of the communicator. • Accent • You'll be aware no doubt of the relationship in Britain between accent and social class, an RP accent being suggestive of status and a high terminal level of education. The use of accent has to be balanced against source attractiveness (see the section on the Communicator), avoiding , for example, the possibility of being seen by certain audiences as a 'toff'. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  38. Humour • It's not at all clear whether it works or not. British advertisers achieved an international reputation for their humour, but research studies show contradictory results. • Speed • You might think, as I would, that the communicator should decrease speed in order to be persuasive, especially if dealing with a complex topic. However, the research shows that an increase in speed is likely to be more persuasive - anything up to 50% faster, in fact! This probably connects with the notion of 'expertise'. If a communicator can speak fast about a complex issue, then they must know what they're talking about. It also has the advantage of shutting other people out, denying them the opportunity to interrupt before you've finished what you have to say. It's not necessarily as simple as that, though, since a range of variables have to be taken into account. I, for example, tend to be put off by suits, so someone wearing a suit and talking fast might well be dismissed by me as merely 'slick' rather than 'expert'. Speaking fast can be helpful if you're arguments are weak, because it doesn't give your audience time for cognitive processing of your arguments. However, if you have strong arguments, it can be useful to slow down precisely in order to allow cognitive processing to take place. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  39. Selection • I would have thought, as with speed above, that you would increase your apparent expertise by packing in as many arguments as possible. In fact, it seems that you're more likely to be persuasive if you limit yourself to the most important and strongest arguments only. • From the point of view of cognitive response theory, though, this does make sense. If you present your weaker arguments, you give the receiver the opportunity to formulate negative cognitive responses. By giving your audience, say, six weak arguments and two strong ones, you give them the opportunity to form six negative responses and only two positive ones. Remember that it is not the arguments themselves which are normally later recalled by receivers, but their own reactions to those arguments (i.e. their cognitive responses), so you would be best advised to limit yourself to the two strong arguments. • To an extent, this will depend upon the audience's sense of involvement in the issue. As we have seen with the question of expertise, they will tend to use some general rule of thumb if their involvement is not high, saying something like, 'she's got a lot of arguments, so I suppose she must know what she's talking about. An uninvolved audience won't even bother to distinguish between weak and strong arguments, so, in such a case, your best bet would be to produce all your arguments, whether weak or strong. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  40. Ordering • If you can't avoid giving the bad news, then, according to research, it's best to give the good news first. • This may be connected with the general perception that 'first impressions count'. However, it's not entirely clear that they do. In an experiment conducted by Tomorrow's World on March 25 1995, viewers were shown a man being interviewed for an ambulance driver's job. In fact, without the viewers' knowledge, two different versions of the interview were shown in the east and west of the country. In the east, the interviewee began by giving the 'good news', namely that he had been in the army medical corps where he had learnt various skills and ended with the bad news, namely that, since leaving the army he had never held down a job for long. In the west exactly the same information was given, but with the 'bad news' first. In the east 45% of viewers would have given him the job; in the west 54% would have given him the job. This strongly suggests that first impressions do not count for much and that it's best to end with the 'good news'. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  41. This question of ordering revolves around what is known as primacy and recency effects. The adage that 'first impressions count' states that the primacy effect is likely to dominate, whereas the Tomorrow's World experiment suggests that the recency effect is dominant. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  42. For and against • Whether or not you should include arguments for and against your case depends very much on your audience. If you know that they already agree with you, a one-sided argument is quite acceptable. If they are opposed to your point of view, then a one-sided message will actually be less effective, being dismissed as biased. Even if your audience don't know much about the subject, but do know that there are counterarguments (even if they don't know what they are) will lead them to reject your views as biased. Hovland's investigations into mass propaganda used to change soldiers' attitudes also suggests that the intelligence of the receivers is an important factor, a two-sided argument tending to be more persuasive with the more intelligent audience. • It is possible to inoculate audiences against certain views. If you present them with a weakened version of the arguments against your case, then they are likely to be resistant to stronger versions of those arguments that they may come across later. Again, this seems to be explained by cognitive response theory, since, by giving them a weakened version, you allow them to formulate negative cognitive responses. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  43. Conclusion drawing • Hovland's research results are unclear here. Hovland tends to assume that you should draw the conclusions for your audience where complex issues are involved. He also seems to believe that it depends on your assessment of the audience's intelligence. • Timing • The time delay between your presentation of your case and the audience's having to reach a decision on it is of some importance. • The first side has the advantage when the second side immediately follows and there is a delay before the receivers reach a decision. • The second side has the advantage if the receivers are to reach a decision immediately after presentation of the two cases, if there is a gap between presentation of the first and second sides. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  44. Repetition • Research (following up Zajon's findings in the 60s) has shown again and again that repeated exposure to a stimulus will increase subjects' liking for that stimulus. It doesn't seem to matter whether the stimulus is one which would normally be judged positively or negatively, nor even whether subjects are aware that they are more familiar with the stimulus than they are with others. The research seems to suggest that this is more likely to be the case with complex, rather than simple, stimuli. • So it does seem that, say, a political party with plenty of money for the campaign has a better chance, simply because it stands more chance of using the media to increase exposure to its messages and its candidates. • Repetition, then, will certainly strengthen a message, but you can soon reach the point of diminishing returns and that, of course, is something that advertisers have to bear in mind. We all know from seeing the same ad for what seems like the thousandth time that too much exposure can lower our liking of a message. The problem, naturally, is to be able to gauge where the point of diminishing returns lies. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  45. The Communication Process: Channel Mass Medium • There is no very clear evidence as to which medium is likely to be the most effective. Lenin and Goebbels both considered film to be the most powerful propaganda medium. TV today has much the same reputation and radio was considered in its early days to be particularly powerful. Television and radio are perhaps considered so effective because they are in our own homes, but there's not much evidence to show that that makes much difference, even though it's one important factor in the BBFC's decisions on how to censor videos. TV and film may be considered especially powerful because they incorporate both sound and vision, but there is some evidence that that may in fact reduce effectiveness. TV is often also considered especially powerful because it is a mass medium, delivering the same message to around 20 million people at a time for the major soaps. However, that may work to its disadvantage when compared with, say, newspapers and periodicals which have highly differentiated markets, allowing much more precise targeting. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  46. Research tends to show relatively little effect of any of the mass media - the so-called 'limited effects' paradigm, which emerges quite strongly from the empirical research tradition in the USA. However, it is possible that that is a deficiency of the research rather than of the media. It is often argued that since the American researchers were looking for clearly measurable effects they tended to concentrate on the short-term and thus may have missed the longer term and more diffuse effects. • A very important piece of research was conducted by Katz and Lazarsfeld into the effects of radio propaganda in the 1940s. Their research led them to formulate their Two-Step Flow Model of mass media communication, which still underlies much communication practice today. • In essence, it emphasises the importance of the influence of our social contacts in influencing our interpretation of media messages. Sophisticated political 'spin doctors' continue to recognise today that the best form of advertising is word-of-mouth advertising. They don't only need to persuade us as individuals of the validity of what they have to say. They must also persuade the people we come into contact with, especially the 'opinion leaders' in our lives. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  47. Selective exposure • The Labour Party spin doctors know that Conservative Party voters will switch off when the Labour election broadcast is on and vice-versa. We will tend actively to seek out those messages which support the view we already have and avoid those which may challenge it. This applies not only to the mass media, but also to interpersonal communication. For example, it is well known that those with a positive self-image will tend to remember positive comments made about them, and those with a negative self-image will tend to remember the negative ones. (See also the sections on Selective Attention and Cognitive Consistency). • Selective attention • We maybe can't avoid being exposed to messages we don't like, but there is plenty of evidence that in such a case we won't pay much attention to them Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  48. Selective interpretation • Even if we are exposed and do attend to messages which conflict with our views, the chances are that we will interpret them in such a way that they do fit what we already believe. However good the Labour Party's arguments might be, the chances are that the Conservative voter will dismiss them as a load of nonsense. • An excellent example of this is provided by Kendall and Woolf's analysis of reactions to anti-racist cartoons. The cartoons featured Mr Biggott whose absurdly racist ideas were intended to discredit bigotry. In fact 31% failed to recognise that Mr Biggott was racially prejudiced or that the cartoons were intended to be anti-racist (Kendall & Wolff (1949) in Curran (1990)). Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  49. Interpersonal communication • Visual channel • Physical attractiveness of the Communicator is certainly important and there are other factors we can be fairly certain of. • The following seem to undermine the persuasiveness of a message: • narrow pupil dilation • a closed and symmetrical posture • self-touching ('self-grooming') • very high and very low levels of eye contact Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D

  50. In public speaking, we expect rather higher levels of eye contact than in ordinary interpersonal interaction, where we expect the speaker's eye contact to be intermittent and the listener's to be high. In public speaking, we expect the speaker to keep looking at the audience. Our impression of the speaker's expertise is increased if we see them able to speak without constantly referring to their notes. It may also have some impact on their apparent sincerity, since we know that many public speakers' speeches are written for them. Thus, it is not at all uncommon nowadays to see public speakers using the 'truth machine', also known as the 'idiot box', perhaps because President Reagan was the first to use it extensively. The speaker has in front of her an autocue, whose image is projected on the two screens to left and right, thus allowing the speaker to read the speech off the screens while at the same time appearing to look straight through them at the audience. Christodoulakis Ilias, Ph.D