Chapter 2: Becoming a Persuasive Writer

This information is found in PUBLIC RELATION WRITING AND MEDIA TECHNIQUES, 6th edition, by Dennis L. Wilcox

Public relations writers , in particular, spend most of their working day crafting and dissemination information that will persuade and motivate people.

The Basics of Communication:

  1. Sender – the organization from which the message comes
  2. Message – planning the message starts with a determination od exactly what key messages you want your receivers to receive and what you want them to think, believe, or do.
  3. Channel – how your message is sent to the receiver, include newspapers, magazines, radio, television, speeches, audiovisuals, pictures, newsletter, leaflets, brochures and the Web.
  4. Receiver – the people you must reach.
    1. Publics – the potential or actual audiences for any given public relations messages. Often defined by income, age, gender, race, geography, or psychographic characteristics.
    2. Stakeholders – the groups impacted by an organization’s decision. These potentially include employees, consumers, neighbors, suppliers, environmental groups, and investors.

Diffusion and Adoption:


  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


  1. Relative advantage – is the idea better than the one it replaces?
  2. Compatibility – is the idea consistent with the person’s existing value and needs?
  3. Complexity – is the innovation difficult to understand and use?
  4. Trialability – can the innovation be used on a trial basis?
  5. Observability – are the results of the innovation visible to others?

Hierarchy of Needs:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a very prevalent element to communication.

  • Physiological Needs – involve self-preservation
  • Safety Needs – compromise protection against danger
  • Social Needs – include acceptance by others
  • Ego Needs – include self-esteem and confidence
  • Self-actualization Needs – present the need to grow to one’s full potential

Content and Structure:

The content and structure of your writing means everything. It is important to vary the structure and add elements that are visually and mentally entertaining to the audience. Using such elements like, polls, surveys, statistics, drama, examples, testimonials, interviews, endorsements, and emotional appeal will set your work apart from the others.


  • Truthfulness
  • Authenticity
  • Respect
  • Equity
  • Social responsibility

A public relations writer should test their persuasive communication using these five elements.


Leave a comment

Filed under Chapter Notes, PRCA 3330

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s