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CHAPTER 4

COMMUNICATION IN PUBLIC
RELATIONS
Communication process
Communication between individuals, groups
or companies is a process that involves a
number of variables:
source credibility
message context
symbols, acronyms and slogans.
Source credibility
Message context
Symbols, acronyms and slogans.
Symbols
The words
The effectiveness of communication depends on
factors such as education, social class, regional
differences, nationality and culture.
The five senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch
and taste - play a vital role in the communication
process.
Did you know..?
83% of learning is done by sight
hearing accounts 11%
only 3% of the total information is due
to the smell
2% of learning is due to touch
1% is due to taste
50% of information is stored through
sight and hearing
Message clarity
avoiding jargon
avoiding clichs
avoiding euphemisms
avoiding negative connotations and
discriminatory language
Avoiding jargon

Technical and bureaucratic jargon is a source of


communication jam.
Jargon is a message obstacle, hindering the
ability of the receiver to understand the
message.
A good example of ineffective message, in a
news releases, is as follows:"Versatec launched
SNA graphics processor (model 451).
Processor, operating as 3777xRJE station sends
and receives EBCDIC or binary data in IBM
System Architecture Network (SNA) using the
control protocol of synchronous data link ".
Avoiding clichs
The words loaded with multiple meanings may raise concern. For example,
the Wall Street Journal analyzed 201 editorials appeared in the press
and has compiled a list of the most inefficient and most used words:
powerful increased
new unique
high performant significant
sophisticated solution
advanced integrated
Similar research revealed words used excessively in business and
public relations. A firm in New York, John Rost Associates, compiled
a list of words and phrases used excessively in business letters and
reports: Agenda, proactive, interface, completion, impact,
competitive edge, know-how, win-win relationship, dialogue,
concluded business, the upper limit, network, challenge, opportunity,
achievements, pioneering efforts. And when words are used too
often, their meaning decreases in value.
Avoiding euphemisms

The euphemism is, as defined by Webster's dictionary, a word less


expressive or less direct instead of one considered offensive or
senseless.
Those skilled in public relations should use positive words in the
messages they transmit. They also have an ethical responsibility not
to use words that hide or mislead information.
Far more dangerous are the euphemisms that change the meaning
and impact of the word. Specialists call them double meaning words
- words that claim to communicate.
Companies use euphemisms, words with two meanings to hide
unfavorable information. Thus, an airline would not disclose in its
annual report the airliner crash, so it would call the event
involuntary route change of the Boeing 727.
Using euphemisms by firms for this purpose is inconsistent with
professional standards in public relations and with public interest.
Such language may cause suspicion, cynicism, distrust and hostility.
Avoiding negative connotations
and discriminatory language
Because words have two categories of
meanings (a precise sense given by the
definitions in dictionaries and a contextual
sense, which is what the word means for an
individual or group of individuals), it is necessary
to carefully choose the words used in the
materials submitted for publication.
The staff working in public relations should check twice
each message to be sure that remove any connotation
referring to gender, ethnicity or race.
3 Principles
In the field of public relations there are three
basic principles that must be taken into
account due to their contribution to a
better message organization :
distinction between general and specific;
direct or indirect approach;
establishing the most important aspects of
the message.
Message communication

direct approach;
http://www.engadget.com/2016/03/21/apple-
iphone-se/
indirect approach
http://proiectulantidrogimpreuna.blogspot.ro/
2011/06/blog-post_6234.html
The direct approach is characterized by
the fact that first of all the decision or the
general conclusion is stated and after that
specific ideas or those that support the
general idea are exposed.
This approach is used, particularly in
the following situations:
When the information to be
communicated is favorable or neutral. This
is because when you have to
communicate favorable news is best in
general to appear first with the positive
decision.
The support of this approach is
psychological, as the one who receives the
message prefers to hear the good news first.
When the recipient agrees with the
decisions of the transmitter, waiting first
the conclusions and recommendations
and afterwards the details.
As managers, and most people are busy
and do not always have the time needed
to go through whole pages with specific
details, or listen for minutes these details
in order to find conclusions or
recommendations, and it is believed that
the message recipient is favorable, it is
preferred to use the direct approach.
Indirect approach is characterized by
presenting, first, explanations, arguments
and reasons followed by conclusions,
decisions or recommendations. This
approach goes from specific to general
and it is particularly used when the
information to be transmitted can generate
an unfavorable reaction from the target
audience.
Indirect approach is used also when
the information presented is absolutely
new for the recipient. This approach is
based on logical idea that once concepts
and reasons are understood, conclusions
will be more easily accepted.
Choosing the most important
ideas

The most important ideas are placed at the beginning or


at the end of the message in order to be recorded and
retained.
To highlight certain ideas it is used repetition, its
frequency depends on the difficulty of the information
presented during communication. An emphasis of ideas
may be needed in case of a longer message or technical
one.
Message communication
A good message communication requires an
optimal balance between clarity, concision,
correctness and coherency.
Clarity
it requires the message to be understood by
recipients;
it recommends using simple words, as longer
words can make the message vague and difficult
to understand;
the words are chosen such that the vocabulary
used to be understood by the recipient.
Concision
with the fewest number of words it is
provided clarity of the message and the
recipient is more likely to understand it;
a message is better received if it is
concise and to the point.
Correctness
concerns the essential elements of
communication: vocabulary, grammar and
punctuation.
The language
Before designing the message it has to be
chosen the most convenient language:
- formal language that is used for academic or
educational messages, or messages that require
a professional vocabulary;
- informal language, recommended for reports and
speeches, using phrases from daily discussions
and it is characterized by spontaneity and
personality
Coherency
sentences and paragraphs succeed to highlight
the purpose and direction of the message;
whithin one paragraph there is one or more
phrases that develop one main idea. The first
sentence of paragraph shall communicate this
idea, and the idea is developed in the following
phrases with explanations, details and additional
information;
when another important idea has to be
presented a new paragraph starts, which it is
used to indicate the change of ideas.