The nature of the communicator's job has changed dramatically over the last decade. While communicators still prepare speeches, press releases and articles for corporate magazines, they are now being asked to perform managerial duties such as planning, consulting stakeholders and advising CEO's and vice presidents. Communication Planning focuses on these additional responsibilities and examines the role of integrated planning in modern organizations. Sherry Ferguson's comprehensive study includes the theoretical foundations of communication planning and strategic approaches to planning for issues management.

Message Design1: Perception, Cognition, and Information Acquisition

Message design: Perception, Cognition, and Information Acquisition

Theories relevant to perception, cognition, and information processing and acquisition are discussed in this chapter. Specifically, the chapter explores theories related to penetration of the perceptual screen, attention, comprehension of information, and retention and recall of information. Several major learning paradigms—instrumental, operational, and social learning—are also discussed.

Penetrating the Perceptual Screen

Krugman (1965, 1977) and Langer (1978) concluded that much learning takes place when the mind is at rest—at a time when the individual has a low level of cognitive involvement. Batra and Ray (1983) noted that advertising in particular taps into this subconscious state of audiences. As early as the 1920s, Edward Bernays (the so-called “father of spin”) used this strategy to reach ...

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