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It is helpful to understand the distinctions and parallels between persuasive and informative messages. Written communications include the identification of the purpose, evaluation of the communication context, choice of the best distribution method, as well as an audience analysis. Informational and persuasive messages differ in presentation, organization, substance, and structure.
Identification of the topic is necessary for informative messaging and can be done either directly or indirectly. Unpleasant information is sent via indirect techniques, and in indirect messaging, the information is reorganized such that the terrible news does not come first and is followed by some encouraging information. In the direct approach, the purpose is stated, and an abridgment of information is provided at the start of the message (Walker, 2015). Direct approaches are utilized to achieve a positive message distribution.
To put together a compelling persuasive message, there is a need for self-analysis, research, support, as well as a demonstration of the information. Persuasive messages have structures that entail a claim, evidence, as well as an appeal to schemata of logos, ethos, or pathos. These control the encoding, storage, as well as the retrieval of information, and are frameworks for understanding data that is new, guiding various acts, and closing information gaps. Claims and evidence show a reasoning ability, as well as establishing a wisdom foundation necessary for persuading the audience (Walker, 2015). However, in informative messages, claims and evidence are not utilized for swaying the audience. Therefore, although claim and evidence are necessary for the formulation of both persuasive and informative messages, this procedure is more vital in informative messages. The most appropriate way of developing an informative message is to utilize the AIM planning process, whereby A stands for audience analysis, I for the idea development, and M for message structuring (Cardon, 2016). This process can be used in both direct and indirect approaches.
The determination of whether the indirect approach is ethical is determined by the audience factors. There are five cultural characteristics which influence communication and they include uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity-femininity, individualism-collectivism, as well as long-term and short-term orientation (Dainton and Zelley, 2011). All these have a contribution to how well an indirect message is taken in by the audience. Therefore, an understanding of how information is processed by various cultural groups can help someone to come up with a message that ethically transmits information with the use of the direct approach.
Persuasive messages have two parts which include the claim and the evidence. The claim is the idea that is given as a fact, while evidence is the information that is in support of the claim. The kinds of evidence that bolster claims in persuasive messages include facts, analogies, statistics, expert testimonies, as well as examples. These enable the audiences to process the information in a non-coercive way. In developing a persuasive message, one can also make an appeal to the logical, ethical, and emotional interests of the audience. Logos or logical appeal entails facts and statistics, ethos or the ethical appeal is the information that gives credibility, while pathos is the emotional appeal that gives the audience a chance to empathize via emotion (Walker, 2015). In addition, when dealing with a resistant audience, it is essential to establish a common ground. This is the initial step in influencing the audience that has resistance or immunity to new information mainly because this process aids in transforming and constructing the social realities.
Cardon, P., (2016). Business Communication: Developing leaders for a networked world (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Dainton, M. & Zelley E. D., (2011). Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Walker, R., (2015). Strategic Management Communication for Leaders (3rd ed.). Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning.
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