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Principles and Techniques of Persuasion:

1.   Audience Analysis

For a successful persuasive communication the knowledge of audience—their social, economic, religious and political structures and values, is of paramount importance. The process of determining the attitudes of groups and then suggesting a specific mode of behavior or appropriate communication medium is called “Channelling”. Evoking concen for quality of life, I need for deflating price spiral and patriotism are some of the Channelling tactics that are commonly used in persuasion.

Equipped with such basic knowledge about the target group or audience of persuasion, the message can be tailored more appropriately and effectively.

2.   Source Credibility or Principle of Familiarity and Trust

Persuasion is more complete and successful if the source of persuasive communication is credible and trustworthy. We buy ideas, beliefs, opinions or point of views of those persons whom we believe to be more knowledgeable or expert in the concerned fields, sincere towards our interest and cause and who have impressive and charismatic qualities.

Sometimes visual symbols surrounding the person engaged in persuasive communication may profoundly enhance his credibility. A man without beard would seldom be able to impress the audience if he talks as a religious expert, while an appropriately dressed ” maulana”, wearing beard and a cap, speaking in favour of family planning would easily be accepted as a credible source and his utterances would have more persuasive impact.

The attractiveness of the source to the audience generally adds to the persuasive impact. For example, if the source is a greatly admired person, people tend to pursue gratification from identifying with him or from gaining social esteem by appearing to be like him. The similarity of the source to the receiver also enhances his attractiveness and in turn the persuasive impact.

3.   Appeal to Self-interest or Identification Principle

The message must be stated in terms of the interest of the audience. If your message does not address to the psychic or economic needs of your audience it would hardly attract their attention.

The appeal to self-interest may involve a sense of self-esteem, contribution to society at large, and a sense of belonging and ego-gratification or a deduction in tax.