Three considerations for communicating to the masses

By David Phillips

Considerations for communicating to the masses

About ten years ago, I took a doctoral class in Mass Communication at the University of Alabama. In part of our discussion, I learned that research begun in the 1940′s began to reveal something very interesting in the field of mass communicating, something I didn’t anticipate. The research showed that mass communication (speeches, advertisements, etc) really wasn’t for the masses. In fact, it’s influence among the masses was limited. Instead, the research showed that all forms of mass communication influenced what became know as opinion leaders. It was the opinion leaders who actually influenced the masses. And those opinion leaders changed depending upon the topic. This was the foundation of what became the Multi step Flow Model.

Plato originated the term rhetoric. However, prior to that many scholars believe the term logos was a precursor to the actual term rhetoric. Now I know there maybe a difference of opinion regarding the validity of that but assume with me for a moment that was the case.

Just for intrigue’s sake, please allow me to bring in some Greek from the Bible. There are two verses in the New Testament that I want to highlight. John 1:1, that says, “In the beginning was the Word (logos)…” Then in verse 14, “and the Word (logos) became flesh…” I realize that logos used here may be a technical term. However, in using it, the biblical writer is noting the relational aspect of the Word (logos).

Let’s now do a little integration. Combine the meaning of logos from rhetoric and the meaning of logos from the biblical writer and what we come up with, in effect, is a relational rhetoric. Persuasion, influence and change happen within the context of both the masses and the minute (not the time, but …read more

Read more here: Systems Thinking


David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

He has also pastored 3 churches and loves to think about, write about and podcast about scripture, theology, and leadership.

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further reading

Uncertainty and Chaos

Grounded in Uncertainty

Covid has created a world of uncertainty. People have lost so much, including family members and friends, and in many cases, it has stressed...


Recent posts