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Responding to Activism: An Experimental Analysis of Public Relations Strategy Influence on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621) 5 A persuasive strategy is characterized by appeals to a public’s values or emotions. This strategy may include a selective presentation of information. It may use language that is not neutral and reflects the importance of the issue and/or the involvement of the source in the situation. Persuasive messages are directive in the sense that they contain a call for action, either tacitly or explicitly. According to Zaltman and Duncan (1977), persuasive strategies are indicated when a problem is not recognized or considered important by a public, or when a particular solution is not perceived to be particularly effective. Persuasive strategies are useful when it is necessary to induce a public to reallocate its resources from one program or activity to an alternative being advocated by the organization. These strategies are often used when an organization does not have direct control over a public through the manipulation of resources valued by the public. In addition, persuasive strategies are useful when time constraints are great and the ability to use power is low (p. 151). A promise and reward strategy has a coercive function in that it involves the exercise of power to gain compliance. It includes a directive and contingent outcome that may be explicitly or tacitly linked to performance of the directive request. This strategy uses positive coercion in that it implies that the source of the message controls an outcome desired or liked by the receiver of the message. A threat and punishment strategy employs negative coercion in that it involves the exercise of power and threat to gain compliance. This strategy also includes a directive and contingent outcome that may be explicitly or tacitly linked to performance of the directive request. This strategy implies that the source of the message controls an outcome feared or disliked by the receiver. Both promise and reward and threat and punishment strategies are considered to be coercive techniques because they exercise power to gain compliance. According to Zaltman and Duncan (1977), power strategies are useful when a public’s perceived need for change is low. Furthermore, a power strategy will not be effective if a public does not have the resources required to accept change and the organization cannot provide them. But a power strategy may be effective in getting a public to reallocate resources to initiate and sustain change. Power strategies are also useful when there is anticipated resistance to change and a solution to a problem has to be implemented in a short period of time. A bargaining strategy is characterized by an organized exchange of messages between communicators. Strategic withholding of information and deceptions designed to mislead others concerning an acceptable range of alternatives and to discover the other party’s acceptable range of alternatives are used. Bargaining communication is characterized by the use of contrasting symbols that differentiate groups, such as ‘we’ and ‘they.’ This strategy reflects characteristics similar to J. E. Grunig's (1992) two-way asymmetrical model in that organizations and publics are likely to have incompatibility goals and information withholding is a common tactic.

Authors: Page, Kelly.
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Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621)
5
A persuasive strategy is characterized by appeals to a public’s values or emotions. This strategy may
include a selective presentation of information. It may use language that is not neutral and reflects the
importance of the issue and/or the involvement of the source in the situation. Persuasive messages are
directive in the sense that they contain a call for action, either tacitly or explicitly.
According to Zaltman and Duncan (1977), persuasive strategies are indicated when a problem is not
recognized or considered important by a public, or when a particular solution is not perceived to be
particularly effective. Persuasive strategies are useful when it is necessary to induce a public to reallocate
its resources from one program or activity to an alternative being advocated by the organization. These
strategies are often used when an organization does not have direct control over a public through the
manipulation of resources valued by the public. In addition, persuasive strategies are useful when time
constraints are great and the ability to use power is low (p. 151).
A promise and reward strategy has a coercive function in that it involves the exercise of power to
gain compliance. It includes a directive and contingent outcome that may be explicitly or tacitly linked to
performance of the directive request. This strategy uses positive coercion in that it implies that the source
of the message controls an outcome desired or liked by the receiver of the message.
A threat and punishment strategy employs negative coercion in that it involves the exercise of power
and threat to gain compliance. This strategy also includes a directive and contingent outcome that may be
explicitly or tacitly linked to performance of the directive request. This strategy implies that the source of
the message controls an outcome feared or disliked by the receiver.
Both promise and reward and threat and punishment strategies are considered to be coercive
techniques because they exercise power to gain compliance. According to Zaltman and Duncan (1977),
power strategies are useful when a public’s perceived need for change is low. Furthermore, a power
strategy will not be effective if a public does not have the resources required to accept change and the
organization cannot provide them. But a power strategy may be effective in getting a public to reallocate
resources to initiate and sustain change. Power strategies are also useful when there is anticipated
resistance to change and a solution to a problem has to be implemented in a short period of time.
A bargaining strategy is characterized by an organized exchange of messages between
communicators. Strategic withholding of information and deceptions designed to mislead others
concerning an acceptable range of alternatives and to discover the other party’s acceptable range of
alternatives are used. Bargaining communication is characterized by the use of contrasting symbols that
differentiate groups, such as ‘we’ and ‘they.’ This strategy reflects characteristics similar to J. E. Grunig's
(1992) two-way asymmetrical model in that organizations and publics are likely to have incompatibility
goals and information withholding is a common tactic.


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