Communications Studies welcomes Dr. Dan O’Hair as Green Honor’s Chair speaker

When Dr. Dan O’Hair was a professor at TCU, the Moudy Building had just been built.

Now, as the Green Honor’s Chair for Communication Studies, he once again found himself speaking in one of its lecture halls.

Dr. O’Hair, Dean of the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky, spoke Tuesday night on his experience with message strategies and targeting communication to specific audiences.

He spoke mainly on how message strategies had been found for political, hurricane and healthcare warnings or messages.

O’Hair said that message strategies are effective for communication in everyday life, business and relationships.

“We use them constantly without knowing it and we also sometimes use them less effectively than we should,” O’Hair said. “The more that we study message strategies, the better we can get at them so we can influence other people and maybe they can influence us.”

Austin Lesher, a first-year Communication Studies major, said studying how we communicate is important because it is a constant in our lives.

“I think it’s important because it’s what we do every day. And we don’t usually think about it, but when it’s put in our face like this today it kind of gives us a new way of thinking about how to communicate.”

O’Hair researched how to effectively warn citizens of an impending hurricane. He foucsed on what kinds of messages would resonate with families in order for them to make the best decision on moving to a safer location before the storm.

Using varied graphics in his experimental study, O’Hair was able to determine what types of messages would best warn people of the storm.

“The more that we can develop effective messages, whether verbal or textual or graphical, the better off they’ll be in making the appropriate decision for themselves,” O’Hair said.