Throughout Summer 2019 at Washington State University, several persuasive pieces were written and posted advocating for the education and removal of hazardous home products. Course requirements for COMSTRAT 561 include three written assignments (minimum 500 words). The following essay discusses the contents of the Written Post Three and describes concepts and tactics of persuasion. The complete article is available on The_Pro_Dad blog at https://the-pro-dad.com/are-plants-hazardous/.
The similarity to the receiver, power, credibility, and the persuader’s physical attractiveness are some factors that can affect the persuasiveness of a message. The intention of utilizing The_Pro_Dad (the-pro-dad.com, instagram.com/theprodad) social media persona as the blog author, is to display long-term credibility as a professional and parent to enhance message credibility with the receiver.
The Dimensions of Credibility
“Are Plants Hazardous” is the third written post for the 2019 summer semester. Enticing viewers to remain interested in the advocacy group, communicator credibility is essential. According to O’Keefe (2002), “Credibility (or, more carefully expressed, perceived credibility) consists of the judgments made by a perceiver (e.g., a message recipient) concerning the believability of a communicator.” (p. 181) By posting this article on Facebook and WordPress as The_Pro_Dad, consumers get a chance to engage and interact with multiple websites and social media platforms, thus increasing communicator credibility. As O’Keefe notes, The_Pro_Dad and associated posts are attempting to portray the “The expertise dimension.” (O’keefe, 2002, p.182)
Knowledge and Reporting Bias
Fear appeals and scare tactics are frequent through the advocacy campaign. Attempting to avoid what is known as “communicator bias,” several new hazardous product categories are introduced to the blog and Facebook campaign page. O’keefe (2002) summarizes knowledge bias as concept that, “refers to a recipient’s belief that a communicator’s knowledge about external reality is non veridical.” (p.183) In other words, the communicator is not truthful in their claims. Quoting credible sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should ease credibility concerns.
O’keefe (2002) notes reporting bias as a concept, that “refers to the belief that a communicator’s willingness to convey an accurate version of external reality is compromised.” (p.183) Consistent campaign messaging, under the alias The_Pro_Dad, in conjunction with extensive secondary research, is meant to persuade viewers that the campaign willingness to provide accurate externally valid information is truthful and honest.
One goal of this ongoing facebook campaign page is to offer safe alternatives to everyday household products. Subjective belief is that parents would ideally prefer a clean toxic-free home. With a toddler at home and another child on the way, campaign insight segregated in a specific industry. Thus, this campaign investigates Harmful Household products from several categories from cleaning and beauty supply to plants. The blog title “Are Plants Dangerous” is meant to draw attention as the post also covers potentially hazardous items such as Extension cords, Electric Blankets, Lint/Dryers, Toothpaste, and even Midol.
Booth-Butterfield, S. & Welbourne, J. (2002). The elaboration likelihood model: Its impact on persuasion theory and research (pp. 155-173). In J. P. Dillard & M. Pfau (eds.), The Persuasion Handbook: Developments in Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. [eReserve]
O’Keefe, D. J. (2002). Source Factors. Persuasion: Theory & Research (2nd ed., pp. 181-213). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [eReserve] -To access this eReserve reading, please see the directions and password in the Course Information page in the course map
Te’eni-Harari, T., Lampert, S. I., & Lehman-Wilzig, S. (2007). Information processing of advertising among young people: The elaboration likelihood model as applied to youth. Journal of Advertising Research, 47(3), 326-340.