Critical Thinking for Communications Professionals

It is essential for public relations and communications practitioners to be able to identify and unpack weak arguments as they are presented and respond with clear, strong and well reasoned arguments. Critical thinking enables you do this.

Start Date 2 November 2022
Course Dates 2 November 2022
Presenter Dr Karl Anderson
Communications consultant, lecturer & trainer, former strategic communications adviser to the CEO of the HSE.
Venue e-Workshop, Online remote delivery
Fees PRII Members €165
Fees PRII Non-members €225

Unleash the power of clear and critical thinking

Everyday people try to convince us to think a certain way or adopt, or indeed stop, a particular behaviour. This is done using arguments.

These arguments are not emotionally charged encounters, as the word might suggest. They simply involve the presentation of reasons why we should accept, and perhaps act, on certain claims.

For example, there are valid reasons why we should act on the claim that we should wash our hand more often at this time. There are 2 main reasons supporting this claim; (i) we need to stop the spread of the Covid19 virus and (ii) regular hand washing with soap can reduce the chance of us being infected from virus droplets which may be deposited on our hands. This is a valid and strong argument

But not all arguments are neat like this and they do not always make sense. Some argument might have the veneer of logic but are not logical and weak. For example, an argument made recently by a prominent world leader went something like this: If disinfectant kills Covid19 on surfaces in a minute, we should study a way to inject it into patients with the virus to clean their insides. Why is this a fallacious argument?

We don’t always have time or indeed the skill to interrogate arguments like this. We take a lot of them for granted. As a result, weak arguments can, over time, become accepted as strong arguments. Perceived wisdom and anecdotes can become facts. 

This ever-popular course is designed specifically for PRII Members and communications professions and is now being delivered as an e-workshop. Participants will have access to a dedicated e-workshop resource webpage including notes and relevant materials as well as participating in a live remote workshop delivered Dr Karl Anderson, MPRII.

It will help you unpack arguments and determine why they are strong or weak. If you can spot weak and strong arguments, you will be better at developing your own strong arguments and robust lines of reasoning. You'll be better at getting to the heart of complex issues and be more persuasive in advocating for the most effective response.

Topics covered

Taking place on the morning of  Wednesday, 02 November (10am to 12:30pm) this e-workshop will enable you to engage, present and advise with confidence and authority, it will enable you:

  • Recognise the arguments you create and encounter that underpin your everyday professional communication.
  • Distinguish strong from weak arguments, in real time.
  • Construct strong arguments.
  • Synthesise and present the reasons which support your solutions with clarity and precision.
  • Discuss in a non-controversial manner the merits and drawbacks of your solutions.
  • Advocate for and defend your solutions.

What Previous Participants Have Said:

"Karl's knowledge and delivery are excellent. He broke down the topic in a very easy to follow format."

"I learnt rather than totally disregard an argument, dissect it first."

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