Persuasion Essay

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This essay argues that scholar’s perspectives of persuasion make for effective public relations practice by identifying the ways that PR messages can be sent to organisations, groups and audiences. Without knowledge of persuasion, could PR practitioners transmit persuasive messages effectively to their publics and do scholarly definitions meet PR practice in today’s society? Persuasion is a broad topic; scholars such as Gruing (1989), Perloff (1993) and Bernays (1955) provide contrasting definitions with some perspectives relating to PR practice and some challenging it. There can be controversy whilst determining the link between PR and persuasion primarily on an ethical perspective. Scholars Grunig (1989) and the father of public relations Edward Bernays (1955)have contrasting views on if the two draw apparels with each other. Gruing discusses Bernays perspective on “manipulating publics for the benefit of organisations” (1989, p. 18).However this proposes the argument that PR is an unethical practice. Grunig provides the two-way symmetrical theory to PR which demonstrates a relationship between organisations and publics based on shared interests and dialogue, with the brand talking directly to its public to gain feedback and information on their approach and outcomes. It could be argued that because Edward Bernays provides an outdated theory from 1955 Grunig’s perception is more relevant to current PR practice. The two way symmetrical approach is perhaps more dominant in today’s PR practice especially with the introduction of social media with websites such as twitter and Facebook which contribute to direct dialogue with publics. Professor Kevin Moloney provides a different perspective and states that “PR is a form of weak propaganda sending a biased message to a public sometimes hiding the whole truth to increase effective persuasion.”(2006) this perspective of PR can also relate to definition of persuasion of Herbert Simons who states “Persuasion is a...
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