Course Title: Persuade and influence opinion

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

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


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:

3.1 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

A series of lectures followed by complementary workshop activities, discussions, presentations, major assignment and test.

This course is co-joint and co-assessed with POLI5019C Apply Government Systems.


Teaching Schedule




Week Commencing  2017



3 July

Course Induction

  • Course delivery and assessment details
  • Course support documents – any text books or readings
  • Online learning environment – go through Blackboard shell
  • Grading – remind them of codes and no marks (codes at end of doc)
  • Plagiarism – must have signed cover sheets on all assessments
  • Appeals – take them through this process and where it is on website
  • Extensions – take them through process (details on website.)
  • Feedback – when they can contact you and expect a response.
  • Submission requirements – how all work must be uploaded and how
  • Resubmission policy – one resubmission, marked to a pass allowed
  • Where to get support  - Student study support details
  • Student responsibilities – must check emails and bb shells weekly



10 July

     Course introduction – Overview on Government systems

Major Assignment to be discussed and distributed


17 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?




24 July

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



31 July

Lobbyists and how they work. Persuade and influence opinions                    



7 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.                    



14 August


The structure of Local Government in Victoria; the roles and responsibilities of Councils and Council Officers; how do these



21 August

Major assignment

Mid Semester Break   (28 August to 1 September 2016 inclusive)




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

                      Possible Guest speaker – Political campaigner



11 September

                           Visit to State Parliament.

            Guest speakerState Member of Parliament

Submit Major Assignment report


18 September

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



25 September

Role of PR in the delivery of a government service



2 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.




9 October



16 October

Return final assessment and schedule any resubmission for next week


23 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-assessed with POLI5019C Apply Government Systems


Assessment 1           Assignment – Develop a Communication Plan for a Member of Parliament, Local Councillor or a Candidate                                                      

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

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 30% 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   
  • This assessment is worth 30% of the total marks. 

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


Submission Requirements

All Assessment tasks need to be submitted via Blackboard. Email submission will not be accepted. You should:

    • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.

Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)

When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.  Late Submission ProceduresYou are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.More Information: an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration.  Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination. Form to use:  If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible. More Information:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31  Resubmission Guide: 


Once a student has submitted an assessment task, a resubmission may be granted if deemed NYC. On resubmission, a student will not receive a grade higher than CAG (Competency achieved)


Marking Guide (competency): Vocational Education and Training (VET) is based on current industry needs and the focus on preparing you for the workplace. Because VET courses are informed by practical application of knowledge and skills, they are based on a system known as ‘competency based training’ (CBT). So when you are assessed in VET it is about whether you are competent to do the job, as well as having a firm grasp on the knowledge and skills required to do that job, as opposed to traditional curriculum based education settings that are often based on knowledge retention. You need to demonstrate you are competent in each element of the unit of competency you are studying. You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you whether you are competent or not and how well you are performing. Once competent in all elements of the unit you receive a competency grading. Please refer to the Final Grades table below.


In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:

Adjustments to Assessment

If you are found to be Not Yet Competent in a Course Assessment Task you will be allowed one resubmission only.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission.  The highest grade you will receive if your resubmission is successful is “CAG”.

Resubmissions (VET Programs):


More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w (unresolved)

Form to use:

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.



Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C “Develop a workplace policy and practices for sustainability, Page 1 of 10.”

Marking Guide (Grading) After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit; this gives you the opportunity to have the level of your performance formally recognized against industry standards and employability skills. The grading is according to the following criteria:

1. LEVEL OF INDEPENDENCE, INITIATIVE, ENTERPRISE AND PERFORMANCE OF WORK TASK Students are expected to complete all tasks independently as specified in the assessment tasks requirements. Throughout the course students will have to demonstrate a deeper understanding of sustainability practices within an organisational framework and how planning a policy for sustainability can affect the business environment. Developing a sustainability policy requires a step-by-step approach in which students will define the aim and objectives, the scope, strategy and action plan of such policy. Throughout the course students will have to have engaged and shown initiative in applying such skills in different parts in the policy development process.

2. DEMONSTRATED BREADTH OF UNDERPINNING KNOWLEDGE AND A WILLINGNESS TO CONTINUE LEARNING  Students are expected to build upon the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course and apply them in the development process of the policy. It is expected that students will have researched different approaches to sustainability practices and are able to communicate and assess the effectiveness of a variety of policy approaches. Students are expected to demonstrate their ability to adopt and develop new sustainability practices through a process of continuous exploration of new approaches.

3. TECHNIQUES & PROCESSES, TECHNOLOGY SKILLS AND PROBLEM SOLVING As part of the policy development process students are expected to analyse sustainability challenges and develop a strategy and an action plan to address those challenges. Students will formulate solutions using industry best practices and benchmarks to qualify techniques and processes in their approach. Students are expected to qualify their chosen solutions to environmental challenges and demonstrate the process behind such solutions.

4. WORK ORGANISATION, PLANNING AND SELF MANAGEMENT  As the unit is delivered in a ‘blended mode’, i.e. online and face-to-face students are expected to work on their tasks and self manage their workload accordingly. Students will need to plan their workflow guided by the BlackBoard portal and submit their completed tasks on time. It is expected that students will upload ‘work-in-progress’ files and have a backup plan for potential eventualities, such as file damage, accidental deletion, peer work unavailable, …etc.

5. COMMUNICATION, PEOPLE NETWORKING, LANGUAGE AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS AND TEAMWORK As part of the assessment, students are required to present their policy with the aim for management adoption. Students will use their skills to influence the audience while communicating the benefit of their policy, how it was developed as a team approach and the overall value proposition of their policy.


Final Grades Table:


CHD: Competent with High Distinction

CDI: Competent with Distinction

CC: Competent with Credit

CAG: Competency Achieved – Graded

NYC: Not Yet Competent

DNS: Did Not Submit for assessment


Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.







Assessment Matrix

Please refer to Black Board which will outline the assessment matrix for assessments.

Other Information


Course Overview: Access Course Overview