God does not play dice with the universe. -Albert Einstein
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’ t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard P. Feynman
- What is theory? Why do I need to care about theory as a PR professional?
- Basic Communication Theories
- Understanding the situational theory of publics
Helpful breakdown of the theories and their applications to public relations:
- Accreditation for Public Relations Study Guide, starting at p. 112
Questions for Class:
Current events and theory: Think of a current event. Create new examples for the theories listed on page 112 (magic bullet, two-step flow).
Agenda building and agenda setting: Choose 3 major media outlets in your region–they can be newspapers, television stations or radio stations (or any of those). Review the front page of the outlets’ webpages. For each outlet make a list of all the stories that are covered on the front page or in that news program. Then write up a comparison of how the media covered the news on that same day. You will want to consider such questions as:
- How many of the stories from each outlet are local, how many are national, how many are international?
- Which stories are covered by all three outlets?
- Which stories are unique to one outlet?
- Which stories do you think will get people talking?
Agenda setting: Do you think the musicians who get the most attention on the radio or on television or via other media are the “best” musicians? What role does money play in bringing those musicians to everyone’s attention?
- Select a major musician or musical group in your area and research how that musician or group makes its money. Is the musician supported by a major record label or other corporation? Are there any business links between the musician, the recording company and the media outlets?
Behavior change: Think of a behavior you really need to change. Who is the person who could best encourage you to make that behavior change? Support your idea with theory.
Public opinion: Select a current events issue and apply each dimension of public opinion to the issue.
Diffusion of innovation: Think of a new product or service that has launched in the past three years. How are strategies and tactics likely to change from one stage to the next or as communication technology evolves?