Information Flow as a Public Relations Tool

Instructor: Kasandra Lane
Effective communication is important in any line of business to have an effective flow of information between individuals and/or groups. This lesson discusses how you can use communication and information flow as a public relations tool.

Communication and the Information Flow

Managing the flow of information is a key your success in public relations. You need to make sure when you share information that you are communicating clear, correct, and current information.

So, how do you control and direct the flow of information? It all begins with effective communication. To make sure your communication is effective you must understand the basic communication process.

1. The sender sends the message.

As the sender, you first must be sure that your message is clear. For example, you must identify your audience and prepare the main points of the message for that audience. Make your message clear and concise considering the interests, needs, and prior knowledge of your audience.

2. The receiver receives the message.

When the receiver (a member of your audience) receives your message, he or she will perceive it. If your message was clear, the receiver should perceive it correctly exactly as you intended. Otherwise, the process ends.

3. The sender receives feedback from the receiver.

If you receive the feedback you expected you will have instant gratification that your receiver(s) had complete understanding of your message. If you receive unexpected, or worse, no feedback, you will know that your message was unclear and you can take corrective action. Receiver feedback definitely lets you know if your communication skills are weak or strong.

If this process is effective then the sender and receiver will understand each other completely, meaning that the communication process is a success.

Using the Flow of Information as a Tool

In public relations, you, as the sender, must control the communication process for the flow of information to work in your favor. This begins with understanding your audience. Ask yourself:

  • Do you know what interests your audience?
  • Do you understand what your audience already knows about the content of your message?
  • Do you know how and where your audience gets information?

The more you know about your audience, or receivers, the more effective your messages will be. They will keep your audience's interest, present information that is useful to your audience, and deliver information via communication channels that your audience uses. Your audience will find your messages useful and you will gain the feedback you want. If you don't understand your audience then you will not control the flow of information and the communication process will hit a dead end.

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