Why Should You Take Communication and Persuasion?

By: Matt Caplan

Over the course of the semester, I’ve had the opportunity to take a great class that has helped me gain pubic relations skills, as well as how to create effective communication campaigns. This class is called Communication and Persuasion (COMM452), and it has been great in helping me understand how persuasion works in the field of communication; it’s taught me what it means to be persuaded. We have done multiple activities in class and learned a lot of information, such as features of persuasive messages, media effects as persuasion, persuasion in behaviors and attitudes, emotions, persuasion in television shows, the inoculation theory, and we just learned about health communication.

Being a student that is not a communication major, this class has helped me develop an understanding of how persuasion is used in various ways during our everyday life. There are persuasion techniques that I have learned that can be useful to my future in public relations. This class also helped me continue my interest in the communication field, since it is a field that I have recently been more interested in. I am a political science major and picked up 2 minors in political communication and advertising. If you are someone that is not majoring in communication, these minors are definitely ones to think about if you want to take communication courses and expand your public relations skills.

What I enjoyed most about this course is learning about the role in media effects as persuasion. The role of the media is essential for understanding how persuasion is used in public relations, since its effects are substantial to gaining the trust of viewers. Media is all about trust; viewers will only have trust in media that supports their beliefs and attitudes. I enjoyed learning about the link between the message, source, recipient, channel, and context to make a media message persuasive. When going into a career in public relations, it is essential to understand how the media effects society as a whole, and what specific message will resonate to the target audience. I enjoyed learning about health communication, and the amount of campaigns that are present in this area. There are many firms that focus on health communication; they try to take action by solving health crises. This is a very important part of communication for the current COVID-19 pandemic, since there are many campaigns that are advocating to stay-at-home to slow the spread of the virus.

Communication and Persuasion (COMM452) is a great class if you have a desire to expand your skills on how to persuade an audience and learn how persuasion is used in the world that we live in today. This class is great for the media and interpersonal concentration since it factors in both aspects of persuasion. Persuasion is a vital component of public relations and it relies on years of practicing strategies that can get trust among target audiences. Persuasion is all about influencing, and if the right people are influenced, then a good reputation is built. Overall, I would highly recommend this course to be taken to gain more knowledge in public relations]\ and to expand your communication skills.

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