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PR Theory: 5 Pillars to Dialogic Communication

PR Theory: 5 Pillars to Dialogic Communication

The web is a place to build dialogic communication – a free interchange of ideas that completes the communication loop – a building block of relating to the public.

There are five pillars to dialogic communication:

1) Feedback. A feedback mechanism is a medium that provides means for interactive communication.  Such mechanisms must be monitored and responded to continuously.

2) Usefulness.  The information on any site must be useful and relevant to a) the organization b) the message or c) the product.  Usefulness reigns over packaging.

3)  Fresh.  Want return visitors?  You need fresh content, what’s the motivation for revisiting without new ideas?

4) Ease of use. Any site should be easy to understand in terms of layout and navigation.  Intuitive is a description often cited.

5)  Watch the exits.  External links may facilitate the exit of visitors.  External links should only be used when necessary and should provide a way to navigate back.

Be careful, it’s just PR theory from the early days of the web.  

Adopted from:  Kent, Michael L. & Taylor, Maureen (1998) Building Dialogic Relationships Through the World Wide Web.  Public Relations Review

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Photo credit: Beth Harte in presentation at a Vocus user conference circa 2009.

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3 Responses

  1. Beth Harte

    Frank, isn't it funny how something that is more than a decade old still isn't practiced by most? Why is that?

    I feel that way when it comes to integrated marketing communications. There are still many silos (including the one where the website lives!) leading to disintegration of customer communications and experience.

    Most marketing & PR pros think return visitors come from their genius persuasive copy and messaging. Times have changed and it's time for that "theory" to be put into practice. :)

    Beth Harte

  2. Krista

    Well, call me a dork, then ;) This is a great post because as Beth mentioned, these practices still aren't 100% adopted by those in the field. While I learn a lot from practice and case studies, it helps to remember the theory behind it all and how that is just as applicable as a foundation for PR and communications. Thanks for keeping me grounded!

  3. Frank Strong, MA, MBA

    @Beth Indeed! And Web sites? Those poor lonely things are so separated, they don't even get their on silo! Whatever happened to {big voice in the sky} "The Webmaster?" Oh, he works in IT but he’s manning the help desk today.

    @Krista Well you and me both — there will be no silos for dorks!

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