chapter 3 - Part II Preparation/Process Chapter 3...

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Part II: Preparation/Process Chapter 3: Communication Teaching Perspective Since public relations professionals are, by definition, professional communicators, Chapter 3 stresses the importance of communications as a public relations skill. It examines the communications process and the steps that lead to understanding. It also talks about perception and suggests both barriers to communications and tricks to communicating effectively. The important point here to stress with students is that they, beyond all others in their organization, must be the most skilled communicator – the best writer, best speaker, most knowledgeable about the media and communications theory, etc. In other words, communications is their trade. It’s what public relations people do. And students should know it and be good at it. The subject of the “Voice of Authority” interview in Chapter 3 is Wal-Mart Communications Director Mona Williams, whose controversial company is the subject of the chapter’s Case Study. Among topics discussed in Chapter 3 are: Goals of communication. Traditional theories of communication. Contemporary theories of communication. The word. The message. Receiver’s bias. Feedback. 15
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Speaking of Ethics: Messing with the Medium The war in Iraq has focused intensive criticism on the United States for its treatment of prisoners, in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib, and other holding pens around the world. Human rights groups and prisoner advocate organizations from around the world have joined in the opprobrium. But by far the strangest complaint was the one in 2005 from Human Rights Watch that psychological warfare, in the form of recordings by Eminem and Dr. Dre, was totally uncivilized. Matters of taste notwithstanding, the ethical question in dealing with prisoners of war in particular, is: Where should the lines of psychological warfare communication be drawn? Discussion Starters 1. Above all else, the public relations practitioner is a professional communicator. 2. Principle goals of communication include informing, motivating, persuading, and winning mutual understanding. 3. All of these words connote different meanings to different people, depending on which end of the political spectrum they lie.
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