Course Title: Persuade and influence opinion

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: MKTG7880C

Course Title: Persuade and influence opinion

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6140 - Advanced Diploma of Business (Public Relations)

Course Contact: Julia Makin

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5175

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Alain Grossbard


This course is co-delivered and co-assessed with Apply Government Systems (POLI5019C)

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit covers high-level workplace communication for working at a senior level with internal and external clients, colleagues and other staff. It includes preparing for high-level communication, critically analysing and responding to opinions, persuading and influencing others, and reflecting on and honing communication strategies.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PSPGOV605A Persuade and influence opinion


1 . Prepare for high-level communication

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Communication objectives are clarified, those to be present are confirmed and communication mode is identified.
1.2 Analysis is undertaken to anticipate the likely attitudes of and positions to be taken by those present on the matters under discussion.
1.3 Communication styles of those to be present are considered and their effect on the tone and likely direction/progress of the discussion is assessed.
1.4 Critical self-evaluation of communication strengths and vulnerabilities is undertaken and compared with other participant/s knowledge, styles and likely approaches in planned encounters.
1.5 Subject matter is researched/organised , key messages to be conveyed are distilled and tactics planned to utilise personal strengths and maximise outcomes for the organisation in accordance with legislation, policy and guidelines .


2 . Critically analyse and respond to opinions

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Others are listened to critically and responsively to evaluate complex levels of meaning in spoken communication and to identify impartiality, bias or unsupported argument.
2.2 Tone, style, non-verbal elements and points of view of speakers are noted and their use in influencing and affecting particular outcomes is considered.
2.3 Reaction to speakers and their point of view is analysed to identify and manage emotional triggers and maintain objectivity.
2.4 Opposing/challenging views are welcomed and examined for their value in achieving the same ends.
2.5 Communication is examined for subtext, significant inclusions and exclusions, socio-cultural values, attitudes and assumptions.
2.6 Complex concepts and ideas are explored to clarify understanding, and to challenge and justify interpretations based on underlying assumptions, beliefs and values.


3 . Persuade and influence others

Performance Criteria:

3 . Persuade and influence others
3.1 Communication approach is chosen and used to maximise effect with the given audience.
3.2 Sustained points of view are asserted with determination and conviction.
3.3 Content and approach are modified when speaking to an unresponsive audience, and diversions and unexpected questions handled confidently.
3.4 A variety of verbal and non-verbal behaviour is used to explain abstract ideas and expand on complex issues to maintain listener interest.
3.5 Complex questions and arguments are responded to quickly and saliently, backed by reasoned explanation.
3.6 Disagreements or conflicting personalities are handled objectively and agreements are negotiated where possible, concluding with positive summaries of achievement.


4 . Reflect on and hone communication strategies

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Feedback from others is obtained, outcomes are assessed and underlying interactions and motivations analysed.
4.2 Own vulnerability to emotional and other seductive appeals is analysed dispassionately.
4.3 Lessons learnt are articulated and used to underpin future interactions.
4.4 Sophisticated language structures and features that influence audiences to a preferred point of view are developed and practised.
4.5 Creative and innovative communication strategies are explored and practised for a range of workplace applications in accordance with organisational requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

This unit covers high-level workplace communication for working at a senior level with internal and external clients, colleagues and other staff. It includes preparing for high-level communication, critically analysing and responding to opinions, persuading and influencing others, and reflecting on and honing communication strategies.

In practice, persuading and influencing others may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as acting ethically, complying with legislation, applying government systems, managing change, managing diversity, etc.

Teaching Schedule




Week Commencing  2015



6 July

Course Induction


13 July

Course introduction – Overview on Government systems

Major Assignment to be discussed and distributed


20 July

Current knowledge of government systems: Why is the knowledge of government systems important to public relations practitioners? Why do we need government relations?  What are the three tiers of government and are they related?  Who are our political parties?



27 July

The structure of the Federal Government, the role of federal parliamentarians, the judiciary and the public service; lobbyists and how they work.                    


3 August

Lobbyists and how they work. Persuade and influence opinions                    


10 August

The structure of the State Government, the role of state parliamentarians, the judiciary and the public service; lobbyists and how they work. Persuade and Influence Opinion.                    


17 August

Role of PR in the delivery of a government service


24 August

Major assignment

Mid Semester Break   

31August – 4 September inclusive


7 September

Elections and campaigning; political parties, their images and the role of public relations within them.

                      Guest speaker – Political campaigner



14 September

                           Visit to State Parliament.

            Guest speakerState Member of Parliament

Submit Major Assignment report


21 September

Pressure groups; who are they, how do you deal with them; what influences are exerted on governments, why and how?

                  Guest speaker – Pressure group leader


28 September

The structure of Local Government in Victoria; the roles and responsibilities of Councils and Council Officers; how do these differ from other forms of government?

                 Guest speaker – Local Councillor or PR Manager from Local Council



5 October

Excursion/visit to Melbourne Town Hall Council Chambers

Guest speaker on local government; the role of communications and its importance in a large metropolitan council; dealing with the extensive number of stakeholders.

                        Guest speaker – Lord Mayor



12 October



19 October

Return final assessment and schedule any resubmission for next week


26 October

      Interviews/Assessment feedback/resubmissions

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment may incorporate a variety of methods including technical requirements documentation, homework, assignments, group and/or individual projects, in class exercises, written and practical assessments, problem solving exercises, presentations, direct observation of actual and simulated work practice, presentation of a portfolio of evidence which may comprise documents, and/or photographs and/or video and audio files, review of products produced through work-based or course activities.

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met. Students will be provided with feedback throughout the course to check their progress.

Assessment Tasks

This course is co-delivered and co-assessed with Apply Government Systems  (POLI5019C)

Assessment 1           Assignment – Develop a Communication Plan for a Member of Parliament                                                      

Group-based - Work individually or in groups of 2 or 3 and develop a written Communication Plan for the Member of Parliament.                    

Length: 1800 – 2000 words                                                                                                                                   

Aim: This assignment requires you to develop a Communication Plan for a Member of Parliament to assist the politician respond to one or more particular issue(s) confronting the politician.

Students must meet the Member of Parliament and provide Meeting Minutes outlining items discussed and action agreed for preparation of a Report.  Class time will be used for meetings if time permits.  Student must also complete a peer review form and give it to the teacher.

Details of the assignment will be provided in Week 2. The final Report must be submitted by Week 10.

This assignment is worth 40% of the total marks.

 Assessment 2: Activities dealing with persuade and influence opinion and apply government systems     

Individual activities. These three reports are worth 30% of the total course submission.                                                                                             

 Length: 200 to 500 word each activity .

1. Analyse and describe current techniques to persuade and influence opinion using government system concepts and tools.
2. Suggest ways the issue could have been reduced or resolved, in hindsight. 
3.  Apply skills in finding information using real life situations, online resources, books, journals and newspapers.

Identify a current or past story in the news which portrays a political issue. The lectures will list categories of issues to assist you think of a news story.

Describe and comment on the event, with the benefit of hindsight, using political risk management concepts and tools. Briefly describe the event (attach a copy of the article if convenient).  From the point of view of a public relations practitioner, describe the context of the issue or event, the actual risks associated with the issue or event, who the issue affected and how it affected them. 

What political reduction strategies were already in place or likely to have been in place before the event? What other issue reduction strategies could have been used or have been used since?

 Assessment criteria:
§  Application of persuasion and influence opinion and government systems concepts and tools to answer the questions                                             
§  Good use made of a variety of resources 

Assessment 3           Test covering lectures and activities/workshops                 

Individual activity                                                                                                                 

Students complete number of activities and workshops that will be assessed via a final test in class. There will be a number of short answer questions that will cover all the lectures covered in both “Apply Government Systems’ and ‘Persuade and Influence Opinion’. The Test will be conducted in Week 14 and will take one hour to complete. Each question will be allocated a mark and the total mark will add up to 100%.

This assessment is worth 30% of the total marks





Assessment Matrix

This course is co-delivered and co-assessed with Apply Government Systems (POLI5019C)

Details of the matrix will be provide in the course guide on RMIT Learning Hub.

Other Information


Course Overview: Access Course Overview