Mass Media Persuasion

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Aaron D. Carter
Prof. Rochelle Daniel
Public Opinion
06 December 2011

Public Opinion and how it is influenced

Effective persuasion is central to public relations. Persuasion is a feature of most informational communication and organization-public messages. According to Bryant, persuasion is “the process of adjusting ideas to people and people to ideas.” This process of adjusting ideas to people and people to ideas is very important, because this transaction takes place daily in many facets of our lives. Some of the areas where persuasion is used to sway public opinion are in the news, advertising, and political campaigns. In the world of commerce individuals and businesses thrive off swaying public opinion in their favor. You need persuasion in efforts to sell products and services, efforts to convince stakeholders to trust and support organizational initiatives, efforts to convince legislators to pass favorable regulations, and just simply the effort to exert interpersonal and group influence in order to achieve one’s goal.

The ability to shape or control the actions of others is an incredible skill. On the one hand, getting someone to simply acknowledge a point and nod their head in agreement is relatively easy. There is little risk involved, but actually moving people to take action takes a lot more work. The news media are very persuasive with the ability to shape our perceptions and influence our beliefs and attitudes. Some of the techniques the news media uses to affect the public opinion are manipulating the deadlines of stories, manipulating access, and manipulating news assignments. When manipulating deadlines, news media betters their chances of surpassing their competition by bring information to the public first. The downside to manipulating deadlines is compromising the validity or accuracy of your information. If reporters take time to investigate the accuracy of information, they risk having a competitor breaking the story...
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