Posted by: kgaboury | October 21, 2013

Know your audience

For our week four presentation, myself (Kevin Gaboury) and Steven Wheeler will be discussing situational analysis in communication strategy. Our presentation is built around several theories advanced by public relations thinkers like James E. Grunig, who developed the situational communication theory and the situational theory of publics. The theories have been effective in predicting public response to a variety of issues and how people will react to a problem. Essentially, they boil down to one important mandate: Know your audience. I encourage you to Google Grunig to learn more about his contributions to the field.
We’ve developed three questions for you to think about before class on Monday.
1. How can the situational communication theory help PR practitioners predict how the public will react to a communication?
2. Why is situational knowledge important for effective communication, both internally and externally?
3. Can we craft long-term relationships from hot-button issues? If so, how?


  1. Not to deluge everyone with questions, but I think the last poser begs one more: how do we change the perception of public relations itself? Generally speaking, public relations is seen as something that insulates rather than communicates. It protects the organization, or at least justifies its actions, by trying to reconcile public perception with its own internal ideal.

    Instead, if organizations were to implement a more strategic and proactive approach to public relations, one where they could interface with their public, establish a rapport and create a more profound and lasting relationship, the results might be transformational for both parties. It may seem like a truism (and maybe it is), but I would think that, given the amount of work required to clean up issues on the back-end, most organizations would jump at the opportunity to get ahead. If that wasn’t enough, in addition to being ahead of the game, these organizations would also reap the benefits of being in touch with their audience. To my way of thinking, that alone is worth the price of admission.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: