Key Communicators: Meaning, Characteristics and Their Role in Development

Topics: Sociology, Choice, The Key Pages: 9 (2405 words) Published: December 22, 2012
Key communicators or opinion leaders are persons in any social system who are sought for information and advice on general os specific topic. According to Rogers and Kincoid(1981) define opinion leadership as the degree to which an individual is able to informally influence other’s knowledge, attitudes ,or overt behaviour in a desired way with a relative frequency. Key Communicators are parents, business people, friends and community members. They are people who care about education and have a desire to help the BCSC provide the best education possible for the children of Brownsburg.

Key-communicators have been found to have distinctive characteristics. On the basis of a review of a large number of research studies, rogers and shoemakers (1971) drew the following conclusions regarding characteristics of key informants. i) External communication:

a) Key communicators have a greater exposure to mass media than their followers. b) Key communicators are more cosmopolitan than their followers. ii) Accessibility:
Key communicators exercise relatively greater participation than their followers in a social system. iii) Social status:
Key communicators enjoy a relatively higher social status than their followers as for as conditions in that social system exists. iv) Innovativeness:
a) Key communicators are more innovative than their followers. b) When the social system'snorms favours change,key communicators are more innovative but otherwise not especially so. v) Relationship to the social systems:

According to Shankaraiah (1969) the key communicators under Indian conditions are: a) Perceived as the best farmers when the social system is actively modern b) Social stars when the social system is relatively traditional ROLE OF A KEY COMMUNICATOR:

1) Key communicators receive e-mails with timely information from the district and give feedback as appropriate. 2) Key communicators will share information about district issues informally with their friends and colleagues in the course of their regular day. 3) They disseminate accurate information about the district, correct misinformation, and hear what the community has to say about the district. 4) Key communicators agree to contact the district when they hear positive or negative feedback, rumors, questions, and ideas from people in the community. The district can then move quickly to address these issues. 5) Occasionally, key communicators will be asked to be advocates for the district by filling out on-line surveys or by responding to incorrect information posted on the internet. 6) Keeping in touch with the scientists,other institutions madia and source of information. 8) Communication of the new technology to other villages. 9) Coordinating the functions of the village organizations and the institutions and channelizing them towards the adoption of technologies for greater production. 10) Assisting the villagers in securing the supplies and services required by them. 11)Guiding and helping people in getting assistance from government. 12) Helping the fellow villagers in the preparation of the action plans. 13) Giving constant guidance and acting as the local consultants. 14)Focusing on the problems of villager and helping the extension workers. 15) Serving as the demonstrator in the case of agricultural innovations.

Three methods are in common use for identifying key informents.these methods are. (i) Sociometric method
(ii) Self designation technique
(iii) Information rating

In this method,members of a social system are asked to name the person to whom they go for advise and...
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