PUBLIC OPINION Chapter Five. 5-2 What is Public Opinion? Like shifting sands…public opinion is subject to change.

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  • PUBLIC OPINION Chapter Five
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  • 5-2 What is Public Opinion? Like shifting sandspublic opinion is subject to change.
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  • 5-3 Public Opinion is the aggregate of many individual opinions on a particular issue that affects a group of people.
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  • 5-4 Public Opinion is comprised of three main areas: Attitudes Opinions Actions
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  • 5-5 Attitudes are evaluations people make about specific problems or issues. Attitudes can be based on many characteristics such as background, culture, education, knowledge, class, ethnicity and religion.
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  • 5-6 Opinions are the expression of an attitude on a particular topic.
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  • 5-7 In your own opinion, what is the most over publicized issue in the media? Is your opinion shared by others?
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  • 5-8 When opinions become strong enough, they lead to actions expressed either verbally or behaviorally.
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  • 5-9 Changing Attitudes or Behaviors The task of the public relations practitioner often involves attempting to change attitudes or behaviors. This task requires research into target audiences, understanding their attitudes, issues, monitoring public opinion, and using communication tactics aimed at change.
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  • 5-10 Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Which need/level would be used if you were doing a feature story in an employee relations publication aimed at keeping worker accidents low?
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  • 5-11 Exercise Questions What graphic images could accompany your story that would encourage positive change? What could you do to encourage support of working safely?
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  • Persuasion and Public Opinion
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  • 5-13 Persuasion Change of attitude or opinion Using Evidence FactsPersonal Experience EmotionsAppeal to you
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  • 5-14 Persuasion Organizations try to reinforce favorable opinions and attitudes Change or neutralize unfavorable opinions and attitudes Monitor opinions and attitudes and bring issues forward
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  • 5-15 Influencing Public Opinion In order to influence public opinion: Identify opinions Target publics Understand communication and the laws of public opinion
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  • 5-16 Laws of Public Opinion Hadley Cantril Opinion is highly sensitive to important events Opinion is determined more by events than words At critical times people become more sensitive to the adequacy of their leadership. Once self interest is involved, opinions arent easily changed. People have more opinions and are able to form opinions more easily on goals than on methods to reach those goals. If people in a democracy are provided with educational opportunities and access to information, public opinion reveals a hardheaded common sense.
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  • 5-17 Corporate Reputation and Image Corporate reputation and image take time to build favorably. Important to long-term success of the organization Over time, the organization must operate responsibly to ensure its positive nature
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  • 5-18 Issues confronting image and reputation Ethical lapses Closed communication Lack of sensitivity Legal problems
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  • 5-19 Question Recently, there have been some issues that have tested organizations with regard to their reputation and image. Can you name any? Clue: Print Media
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  • 5-20 Question Some organizations are able to restore their image and reputation. Can you name any? Clue: Corporations
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  • 5-21 Questions What could an organization do to rebuild its image and reputation? How would an organization go about improving or rebuilding its image and reputation? Are there some organizations that fail to rebuild image and reputation?


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