Just trying to RELATE…

Reflections of a PR student…chapter.seven

Posted in Assignments by meshae on May 3, 2009

The third step in the RACE or the public relations process is “communication.” Communication as a whole is in my opinion the most important concept involved in Public Relations.

However, in this case communication is the stage of the process where the decisions made in steps one and two are implemented.

According to my Intro to Public Relations book, the communication process is used to inform, persuade, motivate, and achieve mutual understanding. When creating a message for a client, it is important to make sure it is appropriate, meaningful, memorable, understandable and believable to their targeted audience.

Several communication models show how an audience receives a message and although they all vary, most contain four main elements. Those elements include a sender (encoder), a message, a channel and a receiver (decoder). Some models include a fifth element, feedback. Feedback provides PR researchers and clients alike, the information they need. Feedback is essentially two-way communication. It is a dialogue between the sender and receiver. Once the receiver receives a message from the sender, the receiver switches roles and becomes the sender by sending a message back.

I found this really cool diagram that illustrated the 2 way communication concept…


In creating a message, the PR practitioner should strive to grab the attention of the audience it targets. Audiences have different behaviors that determine whether or not they will pay attention to a message or not. Understanding the audience’s mental tendencies, the PR agency can tailor the message and its concepts to reach that particular audience.

PR campaign shold be able to be understood across cultures. PR agencies should consider cultural barriers of their audience, including language and literacy.

 Communication is successful based on the actions of the audience. If the audience reacts positively then the campaign was executed well.


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