ADPR 3850 Exam 3

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Spiral of Silence

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Spiral of Silence

  • Society threatens with isolation those people who violate moral consensus

  • We fear this isolation and try to prevent it from happening

  • Therefore, we constantly monitor our environment and have developed a quasi-statistical sense of the climate of public opinion

  • We share our opinions when we believe they are the dominant opinion, or the opinion on the rise (i.e., a bandwagon effect)

  • The media often gives a platform to the loudest voices (even though they may represent a minority opinion)

  • Together, this results in the spiral of silence ...

<ul><li><p>Society threatens with isolation those people who violate moral consensus</p></li><li><p>We fear this isolation and try to prevent it from happening</p></li><li><p>Therefore, we constantly monitor our environment and have developed a quasi-statistical sense of the climate of public opinion</p></li><li><p>We share our opinions when we believe they are the dominant opinion, or the opinion on the rise (i.e., a bandwagon effect)</p></li><li><p>The media often gives a platform to the loudest voices (even though they may represent a minority opinion)</p></li><li><p>Together, this results in the spiral of silence ...</p></li></ul>
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"Public Opinion”

The collection of views or opinions held by people about issues concerning them

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Self-interest

_____________ plays a role in public opinion, including making opinions resistant (or open) to change

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elites & major events

But, ______ & ______ ______ can have dramatic impacts on public opinion

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  • Ryan Braun accused of steroid use - My friends (Wisconsin baseball fans) said there should be no punishment; called the report erroneous and accused many of lies and incompetency

    • Maintained this stance even as evidence mounted

    • After Braun admitted steroid use, many still maintained this stance, or shifted to the “everyone is doing it” argument

  • Johnny Manziel vs. Todd Gurley

    • With no interest in the Aggies season and a general dislike of Manziel, my opinion was that rules were (likely) broken and he should be suspended

    • One year later and I felt the rule was ridiculous and no suspension warranted

Self-interest plays a role in public opinion, including making opinions resistant (or open) to change… EXAMPLES:

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Opinion Leaders

_____ _____ are:

  • Highly interested in a given subject or issue

  • Better informed than most (often college educated)

  • Avid consumers of media

  • Early adopters of new ideas /technologies

  • Have higher income

  • Active in the community and with recreation activities

  • Good organizers who can galvanize action

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Oprah's Book Club

Example of Opinion Leaders

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Media

The _____ play a key role in influencing opinion as they are a crucial source for information

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Agenda Setting theory

The media don’t tell us what to think, only what to think about

  • Of course, public relations specialists are responsible for anywhere between 50-60% of all media content

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Agenda Setting

What are the current issues that the media are telling us are important? It probably depends where you look ...

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Priming

A memory-based effect whereby exposure to a stimulus influences later thinking

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Framing

  • A theory related to the presentation of information

  • Defined a number of different ways by a number of different people

    1. As the selection of specific facts or pieces of information that journalists use in a news story (media frames)

    2. Different packages of otherwise equivalent information

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Gain Frames and Loss Frames

Two major Frames

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Gain Frames

  • Emphasize the advantages of a given action

  • EXAMPLE: “If you quit smoking you will live longer”

  • Work better for motivating prevention behaviors (e.g., using sunscreen)

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Loss Frames

  • Emphasize the disadvantages of failing to comply

  • EXAMPLE: “If you do not quit smoking you will die sooner”

  • Work better for motivating detection behaviors (e.g., cancer screenings)

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Prevention Behaviors; Detection Behaviors

Gain Frames are to _____ as Loss Frames are to ____

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Frames

  • _____ are not about offering new facts

  • Rather: ____ differ in how they present issues - Estate tax vs. Death tax

    • Drill for oil vs. Explore for energy

  • In media, _____ help audiences

    • determine why an issue is important

      • e.g., Is secondhand smoke a health issue or rights issue?

    • efficiently process new information by connecting it to what we already know

      • e.g., Habitual offender laws ... 3-strikes and you’re out!

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Persuasion

_____ is to:

  • Change or neutralize hostile opinions

  • Crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes

  • Conserve favorable opinions

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The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)

one Model of Persuasion

<p>one Model of Persuasion</p>
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Another model of Persuasion

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  • Audience Analysis

  • Source Credibility

  • Making Appeals to Self-Interest

  • Ensure the Clarity of your Message

  • Work in Audience Participation

  • Carefully Determine the Content and Structure of your Message

Keys to Persuasion

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Audience Analysis

  • Know who you’ll be communicating with

  • How involved are they? What do they think? Etc.

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Source Credibility

Who can we have deliver our message? Recall those attributes we just discussed (expertise, sincerity & charisma)

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Making Appeals to Self-Interest

  • Structure your message to appeal to your target

  • People also are driven by altruism

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Ensure the Clarity of your Message

  • Make the message accessible

  • Have a clear call to action

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Work in Audience Participation

  • Major growth in user-generated content

  • Participating reinforces their beliefs and adds credibility to the message

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Carefully Determine the Content and Structure of your Message

Will you use statistics? Exemplars? Appeals to logic? Appeals to emotion? Testimonials? Celebrity endorsements? Links to normative behavior ...

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  • Self-Selection

  • Selective Perception

  • Hostile Media Effect

Limits to Persuasion

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Self-Selection

  • Let’s say we get our message to the target audience …

  • We live in an information age and it does not make sense for most of us to: a) attend to all the messages that come our way b) process those messages, and c) develop an in-depth attitude or understanding of the issue in question - We are “cognitive misers”

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Selective Perception

  • ... and, we’re biased processors

  • We process information through various perceptual filters, including

    • religious beliefs

    • Trust

    • political ideology

    • etc.

  • As a result: Any given “fact” may mean different things to different people …

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Hostile Media Effect

  • Another indicator of how we process mediated content

    • When we give an equivalent piece of communication to different partisan groups, each group tends to feel that the communication is biased against their point of view

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Competition

Two or more groups fighting for the same resource

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Conflict

When groups direct their efforts against each other, often through verbal attacks

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*** Contingency Theory

  • PR professionals monitor for threats, assess those threats, arrive at a desirable stance, and begin communications efforts

    • Influenced by Situational demands and Resources

  • The stance is dynamic; It changes as events unfold

<ul><li><p>PR professionals monitor for threats, assess those threats, arrive at a desirable stance, and begin communications efforts</p><ul><li><p>Influenced by Situational demands and Resources</p></li></ul></li><li><p>The stance is dynamic; It changes as events unfold</p></li></ul>
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Situational demands

nature of crisis, duration, severity, size, complexity; influence of actors, etc.

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Resources

time, money, knowledge, expertise, etc.

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  1. Regret

  2. Responsibility

  3. Remedy

The three R’s of apologizing:

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express empathy ... and do so quickly

Regret

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Avoid the blame game and be transparen

Responsibility

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be part of the solution

Remedy

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  • Pepsi and Syringes

  • Tylenol Poisonings

Examples of Contingency Theory In Action

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<p>Further complicating this process: public concern can be difficult to predict or disproportional to the actual risk..</p>
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<p>Further complicating this process: public concern can be difficult to predict or disproportional to the actual risk..</p>

Further complicating this process: public concern can be difficult to predict or disproportional to the actual risk..

The Amplification (Or Attenuation) Of A Crisis

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The Conflict Management Life Cycle

  1. Proactive

  2. Strategic

  3. Reactive

  4. Recovery

  5. Repeat

<ol><li><p>Proactive</p></li><li><p>Strategic</p></li><li><p>Reactive</p></li><li><p>Recovery</p></li><li><p>Repeat</p></li></ol>
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The Conflict Management Life Cycle: The Proactive Phase

  • To prevent a conflict from arising or spreading

    • Environmental scanning: reading, watching, paying attention to matters of interest to organization - Issues tracking: a more narrowed version of above

    • Issues management: create strategic plans or begin modifying behavior to address emerging issues - Crisis plan: preparing for the worst

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The Conflict Management Life Cycle: The Strategic Phase

  • Emerging conflict is identified as needing action

    • Crisis management: filling in the current logistics for your specific crisis plan

    • Risk communication: communicating the risk to vulnerable publics

    • Conflict positioning strategies: how can the organization best position itself in the “court of public opinion” and in preparing for possible litigation? - These two areas may be in conflict with one another

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The Conflict Management Life Cycle: The Reactive Phase

  • Must react when conflict reaches a critical level of impact

    • Crisis communication: putting that planning into effect; help victims; communicate plans through media

    • Conflict resolution techniques: reduce the conflict and/or bring about resolution

    • Litigation public relations: preparing for legal actions

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The Conflict Management Life Cycle: The Recovery Phase

  • Strategies employed in the aftermath to bolster or repair reputation

    • Reputation management: Research-based approach to understand and bolster reputation

    • Image restoration strategies: An extreme form of reputation management when damage to an organization is large - ValuJet acquires AirTran and takes their name

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Eighty-six percent of business crises are “smoldering crises,” meaning there are clear warning signs

Smoldering crises vs. sudden crises

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Crisis Communication Management: Filling The Void

  • Principle 1: when a crisis occurs, an information vacuum is created

  • Principle 2: when a vacuum exists, it will be filled

    • By whom? With what?

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Crisis Management: How To Communicate During A Crisis

  • Set up a central information center

    • Monitor news coverage and the phone

  • Designate a (strong) spokesperson

  • Be accessible and honest

  • Communicate with key publics

  • Provide information often (understand the needs of media)

  • Be careful about saying, “no comment”

  • Put the public first

  • Take responsibility – Ryan Braun vs. Roger Clemens

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  1. Control or Efficacy

  2. Complexity

  3. Familiarity

  4. Message consistency

  5. Consequences

Risk Communication: Five Variables Affecting Risk Perception

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Control or Efficacy

how much control do you have over risk avoidance? (e.g., smoking versus chemicals in my water)

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Complexity

How hard is it to avoid the risk (e.g., flu shots vs. changing my diet and exercise habits)?

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Familiarity

How familiar is the risk and the behavior required to avoid the risk (e.g., hurricane preparation)?

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Message consistency

Are your messages consistent?

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Consequences

Do your audiences believe the consequences apply to them?

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Risk Communication: Extended Parallel Processing Model

  • Fear & Smoking

  • Four factors are believed to influence the outcome a fear appeal message:

  • Self-Efficacy

  • Response Efficacy

  • Susceptibility

  • Severity

<ul><li><p>Fear &amp; Smoking</p></li><li><p>Four factors are believed to influence the outcome a fear appeal message:</p></li></ul><ul><li><p>Self-Efficacy</p></li><li><p>Response Efficacy</p></li><li><p>Susceptibility</p></li><li><p>Severity</p></li></ul>
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Self-Efficacy

Can I perform the tasks needed to control the threat/risk?

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Response Efficacy

If I perform those tasks, will it prevent the threat/risk?

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Susceptibility

Does the threat/risk impact me?

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Severity

Is the threat/risk large enough to worry about?

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Important Factors Related to the Public Relations Audience

  1. Diversity

    • Geography, history, culture, religion, etc.

  2. Expanding international audiences

  3. Use of technology

    • Used to segment audiences and compile data (e.g., Google AdWords)

    • Formation of online communities … like the nerds I play (online) hockey with!

  4. Support for single issues

    • Finding like-minded others through technology often leads to singular focus on issues for people ... but what about other important issues?

    • Bill Gates vs. Filter bubble

  5. Visual orientation

    • Compounded by smart phones, tablets, etc.

    • Shortened attention spans and the importance of the “sound bite”

  6. Emphasis on personality and celebrity

    • Who is a “celebrity”? Can we trust “celebrity” tweets? Or are these just paid advertisements?

  7. Distrust of authority & polarization

    • Makes PR crucially important, but also difficult

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Generation Z (born ~ 1997 to 2015)

  • a.k.a., the Post-Millennial Generation, iGen

  • Make up 26% of the U.S. population – slightly more than Millennials or Boomers

  • Spend only 8 min. per day online via PC

    • Online time is almost exclusively mobile

  • Less accepting of the idea of the “American Dream”

  • Self-identify as loyal, compassionate, open-minded, and determined, but see others in their generation as competitive, spontaneous, adventuresome, and curious

  • More risk-averse than previous generations

    • Lower alcohol and drug use rates

  • Interested in “making the world a better place”

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Millennials (born ~ 1981 – 1996)

  • a.k.a., Generation Y, E-Generation

  • 80 million Millennials in U.S. equals high buying power

  • Spend 1/4 to 1/3 of their lives online

    • Foster relationships online

  • (Some) trends among Millennials:

    • Are not influenced by advertising

    • Review blogs before making a purchase

    • Value authenticity

    • Want to engage with brands on SNS

    • Want to co-create products with companies

    • Use multiple tech devices

    • Brand loyal

    • Expect brands to give back to society

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Generation X (born 1965 – 1980)

  • Independent

    • A generation of latch-key kids

  • Tech savvy & resourceful

  • Work to live rather than live to work

    • Not particularly employer loyal

  • Value freedom in the workplace

  • Disdain being micro-managed

  • Generally tolerant of “alternative” lifestyles

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Baby boomers (born between 1946-64)

  • Came of age during advent of TV, giving them appreciation for visual advertising

  • Question authority & take a strong positions on social issues (60s mentality)

  • May retire later than their parents due to improved health and financial uncertainty

  • Competitive in their careers and define themselves according to their profession

  • Great appreciation for leisure time

  • Educated & take pride in accomplishment

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Seniors

  • Approximately 13% of today’s population

  • Are less easily convinced than young adults

  • Active in voting, reading media (senior women flocking to Facebook)

  • Excellent source of volunteers given free time and strong health

  • Extremely health conscious

    • Nintendo Wii/Norwegian Cruise Lines partnership

  • Savings eroded since the 2008 economic crisis

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Women

  • Have significant purchasing power

    • Traditionally “male” businesses trying to capitalize on this by campaigning to women

    • Harley Davidson: Female-only garage parties and instructional videos

  • Exercise great influence as opinion leaders

  • Large networks of friends

  • Have been labeled “multi-minded”

    • Able to balance roles as professionals, mothers, wives, etc.

      • e.g., NFL marketing

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The LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Community)

  • Brand loyal and tend to support companies and brands that reflect their views

  • Disposable income:

    • 29% of same-sex households have median incomes over $90,000

    • 20 million LGBTQ adults have buying power of ~ $1 trillion / year

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Religious groups

  • Growing in market & political power (e.g., Catholics; Evangelicals)

  • Movie studios developing projects in the aftermath of the success of “The Passion of the Christ”

  • Notes on the film Noah:

    • Paramount hired a faith-based consultant

    • Special trailers screened at Christian conferences & high-profile pastors invited to screenings

    • “You're going to see Russell Crowe as a superhero, a guy who has this incredibly difficult challenge put in front of him and has to overcome it.”

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Diversity media

  • The number of options for reaching minority audiences has increased

  • Research concerning these publics has also shown impressive growth

  • And we’re seeing a growth in targeted info based on race/ethnicity

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Hispanic Audiences

  • Fastest-growing ethnic group in U.S.

  • Heavy use of social media and texting

  • Heavy consumers of radio and TV - e.g., Spanish-language KLAX #1 during L.A. morning drive time

  • Traditionally passionate and brand loyal demographic that is skeptical when they believe campaigns have simply been translated into Spanish

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Black Audiences

  • Rise in affluence - Buying power reached $1.2 trillion in 2016 and jumped to ~$1.5 trillion by 2020

  • Black audiences recognized as pop culture trendsetters

    • e.g., The evolution of Mountain Dew:

  • Heaviest TV consumers ... and networks (finally) taking notice

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Asian Audiences

  • Relatively small, but educated and affluent group

  • Often ignored by communicators due to issues of complexity

    • Small group with much diversity

  • Heavy reliance on digital communications

    • Smart products, gaming, streaming services

  • Multi-generational homes where families watch content together

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Mediasphere

  • Top-down

  • Controlled by gatekeepers

  • Expensive

  • One-way communication

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Blogosphere

  • Widespread or horizontal

  • Meritocracy

  • Inexpensive

  • Mobile, two-way communication

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Social media

Blogosphere is synonymous with

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Leveraging the Power of the Internet: Risks

  • You lose control of your content ... can support or destroy a reputation

  • A half-hearted attempt will hurt business

    • Social media works when you listen to consumers, facilitate conversations, engage in those conversations, otherwise it alienates

  • There is a need to be on multiple platforms that evolve quickly

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Leveraging the Power of the Internet: Benefits

Is convenient (easy to use and update, cost-effective), interactive, no space constraints, can be targeted, casual, less sanitized, & accepted with less cynicism

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Real-Time Content & Casual Content

Social Media Promotes _____________ & __________

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Dangers of Social Media

  • Do corporations have a place on social media?

  • How can we leverage real-time communications while avoiding these mishaps?

  • But further, have we given proper consideration to how others might respond?

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Facebook

The most popular Social media platform

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~70%

Facebook is used by ~ __% of American adults overall

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Facebook

  • Organizations establish a presence on Facebook for: - Audience engagement and involvement - Because they feel they have to

  • Public relations materials will need to stand out in a sea of content

  • ***It is inclusive in demographics though users tend to be older

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