Posted by: acecasanova | October 17, 2011

Don’t we all?

When you go through a marketing program any teacher will tell you that the strongest form of marketing is word of mouth.  This is because the person closest to you, your source, your opinion leader, is also your most trusted source of information.  Your source or opinion leader knows a person who knows a person who tried a product, or her friend’s cousin’s aunt was watching CNN and saw a story about something to do with some country’s struggle, or they went to an acupuncturist to cure her bunions and it worked perfectly.  What the message is doesn’t matter, what matters is that we believe it!  We all, at some point or another, have regurgitated the exact words about a topic that we heard come from somebody else’s mouth that we know because we trust that person’s knowledge on the topic.  More often than not, we do this without knowing it and without checking the validity of the statement.  We just say it.  There’s step one.

Now this “source” of ours or as Katz likes to put it “opinion leader” has got to have some source of their own.  More often than not, especially when it comes to politics and other jargon that none of us feel like dedicating our lives to, that source is something like CNN or Fox News (hopefully not) or a story seen on the internet from a reliable site.  There’s step two!  That media follower, the slave to the news and multiple mediums of malice and justice.  Now here’s where I throw in a little McCombs and Shaw because depending on the source’s source, we could argue for a side we don’t believe in.  This is where we have to use caution because despite what you think, MEDIA HAS AN AGENDA!  Maybe it was debatable 50 years ago, but when the powers of the corporations running this country get their grubby paws on it, the media becomes like an onion, as Shrek would say “it has layers!”.

Media has more than enough power to sway the uneducated.  Take our current OWS movement.  (OWS being Occupy Wall Street).  If your opinion leader is a big Bill O’Reilly fan, then you look at the OWS movement as nothing but a bunch of lazy free loading good for nothings who don’t want to work for a living.  If your opinion leader is the rest of the 99%, then you’ll have quite the opposite view!

So Questions:

Is the two-step form of communication sort of like playing monkey telephone and if so, how distorted can the initial message get from the original?

Second question stemming from the first, What affects can said distorted message, if it were to go unchecked, have on an entire neighborhood/city/state/demographic, etc.?  Think of examples.

And on a closing note, as Donna said in the very first class, QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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