In our text, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter one and two discusses the importance of being a good writer for a Public Relations practitioner. The text points out that many positions in the PR industry especially at corporations or firms are at a technician level. This means that many of the positions are for technical services such as writers for news releases, graphic specialists, or event coordinators.
Chapter one also points out the differences in PR writers and journalists. They have different objectives, audiences, and channels. For example, journalists only have one channel where PR writers may use a variety of channels to get their message out for their client. It also identifies different tools PR professionals will need to have to be successful such as computers, references, style books and databases.
Chapter two discussed ways to become a persuasive writer. First you need to understand the basics that there are four elements to communication process: sender, message, channel and receiver. Theories are important to use when trying to persuade. For example, the Gratification theory explains the communication process is interactive and people are selective to what they listen to so the communicator needs to be able to motivate and inform the receiver so they stay entertained. Chapter two also identifies ways that writing can be more persuasive through statistics, surveys, examples, emotional appeals and human interest.
After reading the first two chapters I believe that the part at the end of chapter two about always being ethical when using persuasion is important. Although Public Relations practitioners are being paid by a client to motivate or sway the public to a particular product or service they need to make sure that they are telling the public honest and accurate information. As a PR professional they have obligations not only to their client but to the public. They are advocates in the marketplace of public opinion as the book says. So it is their job to be persuasive by using techniques that are truthful. The five questions for the Ethics Test for Public Relations is a good use for me and other students when thinking of how to persuade yet also be ethical doing so.