The agenda-setting process is a very fluid, dynamic attempt to get the attention of the media, the public, and/or policy-makers.
The agenda is a “set of issues.” In order for the agenda to be effective and become part of the process, it must be communicated. Agendas result from a “dynamic interplay.”
The theory of diffusion of innovations teaches us that we are creatures of habit. Human beings do not like change. To study diffusion of innovations is to study the difficulty of getting anything new—an idea, a widget, an innovation, a political movement, etc.— adopted. It can take years to get people to readily accept an idea, use a new product, believe in a movement or vote for a candidate.
- 1. Explains how people adopt or reject change, ideas or products.
- 2. Reveals why major change is not accomplished in a brief time.
- 3. Reveals why it cannot be accomplished through news media alone.
- 4. Emphasizes why channels of interpersonal communication are the most effective
Five stages of diffusion process (AIETA)
- 1. Awareness: An individual becomes aware of “it,” quite often through the media or mass communication channels.
- 2. Interest: An individual develops an interest in learning more about “it.”
- 3. Evaluation: An individual asks others for feedback about “it,” demonstrating the importance of interpersonal communication.
- 4. Trial: An individual uses a sample, attends a rally, etc.
- 5. Adoption: If adoption occurs, an individual may seek or respond to reinforcement of adoption decision. Some call this the retrial or re-adoption process.
Five categories of people in diffusion process
- 1. Innovators
- 2. Early adopters
- 3. Early majority
- 4. Majority
- 5. Non-adopters (Laggards)
The model consists of a sender, a message, a channel where the message travels, noise or interference and a receiver. For example, the telephone converts sound or spoken words into electrical impulses that a retransmitted over a telephone line (the channel). On the receiving end, the process is reversed and the electrical signals are converted back into speech. But noise can interfere with the signal and create problems in understanding the communication.
Essential step in the communications model?
Feedback. Without that, you don’t know if the receiver received or understood your message.
Other forms of communications that could be applied to the communications model?
- Speech: Thoughts are encoded into words, transmitted by sound waves and decoded by the receiver’s understanding of the words—if that person is within earshot.
- Pantomime: Use your body to express thoughts, transmit them by gestures or posture and the receiver will decode them by understanding your movements.
- Printing: Encode your thoughts in words or typographic characters in any accepted language, such as English, Spanish, Mandarin, etc., transmit them on a printed page and the receiver will decode—if he or she can read and understand the language, characters, etc.
- Fuzzy language
- Misalignment with culture and values
- History of distrust
- Negative influencers
- Sources or spokespeople with no credibility
- Unreliable media
- Media with which people are not comfortable, e.g., blogs for some, printed material where illiteracy is high, etc.
- Captive audiences
Model for Overcoming Barriers to Have Effective Communication
- Design and deliver the message so that it gets the attention of the intended audience.
- Employ signs that relate to experiences common to the source and destination.
- Arouse personality needs in the receiver.
- Offer a way to meet those personality needs that is appropriate to the group situation the receiver is in at the time you want that receiver to respond.
7 Cs of Communication
- 1. Clarity
- 2. Credibility
- 3. Content
- 4. Context
- 5. Continuity
- 6. Capability
- 7. Channels
“Publics” Defined for Public Relations
Public relations professionals refer to people or groups of “people who are somehow mutually involved or interdependent with particular organizations” as “publics”. A public may also further defined as “a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc.”
List of publics
- 1. Employee
- 2. Community
- 3. Media
- 4. Government
- 5. Academia
- 6. Investment/Financial
- 7. Industry/Business
- 8. Customer
Four types of publics
- 1. All-issue publics who are active on all issues
- 2. Apathetic publics who are inattentive and inactive on all issues
- 3. Single-issue publics who are active on a limited number of issues
- 4. Hot-issue publics who respond and become active after being exposed to an issue
Four types of publics (alternate description)
- 1. Non publics are those upon whom the issue at hand has virtually no effect.
- 2. Latent publics are not aware of their connections to a situation.
- 3. Aware publics understand the importance of an issue to them, but they have not acted.
- 4. Active publics are doing something about an issue.
It is evident that target publics categorized in this manner will vary greatly depending upon the situation.
Elements that make up public opinion
- Opinion: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.
- Belief: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.
- Attitude: a) a mental position with regard to a fact or state; b) a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state.
- Value: something intrinsically valuable or desirable; something esteemed.