THE IMPACT OF OPINION LEADERS IN INFORMATION DISSEMINATION IN NIGERIA
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This project work reviews the concepts, measures, and strategies of two step flow of communication which is aimed at examining the impact of opinion-leaders in information dissemination in Nigeria with focus on Owo Township which was the case study. Opinion leaders’ campaigns can be used to catalyze wider political engagement on the issue and to promote sustainable people choices and behaviors. From past research, six relevant categories of self-designated opinion-leaders were outlined, detailing issues related to identification, recruitment, training, message development, and coordination. This study combines the recruitment of community opinion-leaders with traditional media strategies. In evaluating community opinion-leader campaigns, it was concluded that there are likely to be significant trade-offs in comparison to face-to-face initiatives. The challenge for both scholars and practitioners is to understand under what conditions are opinion-leaders effective and in which ways can online interactions strengthen or build on real-world connections with peoples in the community.
1.0 Background to the Study
Opinion leaders are defined as individual who exert an unequal amount of influence on the decision of others” [Rogers and Cartano ,1962: p435] in study of
opinion leaders, there are two relevant parties — The opinion seeker or the recipient who seek advice or information and the opinion source or the leaders
who give advice or information [Flynn —et al,1995]
Opinion leadership is a concept that arises out of the theory of two — step flow of communication propounded by Paul Lazarsfeid and Elihu kartz This theory
is one of several models that try to explain the diusion
of innovation, ideal, or commercial product.
In identifying opinion leadership as a crucial factor in influencing decision making, research has used two alternative approaches. One approach is to ask the
users to explicitly identify the personal source from which they could accept advice and analyzed the reason behind such behaviour in term of personal
characteristic such as charisma, competence, or behaviour. This approach is applicable when there is direct interaction between every recipient and source
in other case such as multi-agent system where direct information is always possible, the other approach is to use the Social Network Analysis [SNA] to
identify opinion leaders by studying the social relation among the other in a social network.
A social network is a conglomeration of actors at different level [e. g people, communities,
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