A Rhetorical Approach to Non-Discursive Messages in Information Campaigns.Report as inadecuate

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Public information campaigns serve a primary role in contemporary American society to promote more active citizen involvement. When the U.S. government seeks to influence its citizens, it can use mass media to help produce systematic social change, particularly visual communication derived from rhetoric. Rhetorical criticism includes non-discursive forms of communication, or communication through visual forms, that engage attention, transmit information, and evoke audience responses. The McGruff "Take a Bite Out of Crime" public information campaign is examined to present a methodology for assessing the content of the visual messages, and meaning and patterns are derived from this specific campaign. Insight is provided into the development of the campaign by outlining the various visual and verbal rhetoric found within the public service advertisements (PSAs) and how they reinforce or detract from the goals for the McGruff effort. Overall, the McGruff PSAs appear to have communicated with their audiences in a fresh and memorable way. Specific aspects of the campaign that aided in raising awareness, reinforcing existing behaviors, and developing motivation among viewers relied on two important elements: (1) emphasis on the individual and his or her community; and (2) audience identification with McGruff. (Contains 24 references.) (AEF)

Descriptors: Advertising, Audience Response, Information Dissemination, Mass Media Role, Propaganda, Public Television, Rhetorical Criticism, Social Change, Visual Stimuli

Author: Reid, Kathleen

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9944&id=ED393428

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