Nancy Hobar, teaches in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, at Northwestern University. Nancy has decades of experience in teaching how persuasive messaging communicates to audience. Hello. My name is Nancy Hobar, and I'm a professor of Strategic Communications in Northwestern's Integrated Marketing Communications Department. Today, my topic is on public relations. So, let's talk about what public relations is. It's a function within most organizations. If you think about a university, if you think about a hospital, if you think about a government. Many times, within every organization, there will be someone whose job it is to communicate with the audience. Now, in order to do that, you're going to learn to use several tools to get there. Also, you'll also need to have some idea about communication's theory and also be particularly good at psychology. So, let's talk, now, about the role of public relations, which, by the way, is often called corporate communications in a corporation, or public affairs within the government, or strategic communications within academia. It starts with a seven step process of starting with the messenger. Today, the messenger is me. I'm trying to deliver a message. My message is, how to understand communication theory. In order to do that, I've got a medium. The medium, is the online course. But it could be a letter, it could be a brochure, it could be a press release. Whatever the medium is, it has to go through what's called open air. That's really the distance between me and the audience. Between open air, you have the filters. The filters are what blocks the audience from hearing the message as the messenger intends to deliver it. So, think about the filters being something like distractions, maybe background noise, maybe something that you're doing right now, to multitask while you're listening. Finally, there's you. The most important, the audience. The audience is the person who messenger intends to send a message to. So, knowing a lot about your audience is very important. It's also important to understand there's a feedback loop. That's the seventh and last part of the communications model. The feedback loop, is what tells the messenger how well he or she is doing. In this case, I'm not getting any feedback. But in many cases, you will get feedback that'll tell you how to adapt what you're saying. Now, if you're thinking about the audience, the most important part of your communication. The audience can be thought of in terms of a bulls-eye. At the center of the bulls-eye, is your most important audience. For most companies, for example, it's going to be their employees, it's going to be their investors, it's going to be their customers. Then the second ring out are also important audiences for any corporation, or for that matter any organization. It might be suppliers, it might be governmental agencies, it might be the competitors that you'd have. All of those are very important in the understanding of the audience and who is listening. There might even be a tertiary. The tertiary might be the general public. Although, most times, the general public is not going to be listening to the messages. So, the customer, what media influences them most? Well, you've done a lot of work, I know, in this course about understanding who the customer is and what you need to know about the customer. So, I'm going to skip over that. But please be sure to remember all of those things as you're dealing with trying to decide what is the message, and what is the best media. What's a message? Well, let me start out with what it's not. It's not a slogan. It's not a fact. It's not a claim, and it's not an issue. What a message is, is something that captures the attributes and values of your organization. So, it's compelling, but it has to be credible, and it has to be supported by proof points, and finally, it has to resonate with your audience. Is it something that your audience would immediately recognize and feel one way or another about? So, good messages, honestly are hard work. In order to write a good message, you have to remember to use powerful words, memorable words. I suggest making sure you get strong nouns, strong verbs. Go light on your adjectives and adverbs because they'll take away some of the power. So, let me sum up what we've talked about in this lecture. First, you have to understand who we want to reach, and what makes that person tick. Second, you have to understand, how do you develop a persuasive message that gets a positive response from your intended audience. Third, you have to figure out, how to get that message to that audience. If you do all of that, you're really developing a communication plan, which we'll talk a little bit more about in the next lecture.