Advocating for education and removal of hazardous home products, The Pro Dad released “The Pro Dad Newsletter” in July of 2019 via Facebook and WordPress at the-pro-dad.com. The following document discusses the written post as it relates to persuasion tactics and concepts studied in COMSTRAT561 at Washington State University. Persuasion concepts include Fear Appeal, Self Agency, and Social Influences. The post titled “Writing One” was released on Facebook and WordPress so that consumers can engage and view on multiple platforms. The increase in accessibility should resonate in overall persuasiveness. Course Reading from Fogg, Lee, and Marshall (2002) note, “Technology can change attitudes and behaviors-either by increasing a person’s capability, by providing users with experience, or by leveraging the power of social relationships” (p.772)
O’keefe (2002) summarizes that what one individual may find worrisome or scary may only be mildly fearful to another. Extreme fear tactics are introduced throughout the semester Facebook campaign linking hazardous home products to terminal illnesses such as cancer. The factors of each message include a consistent message that neglect to remove hazardous home products will lead to adverse outcomes. Regardless of situational fear level between message receivers, the cost of ignoring hazardous home goods far exceeds the benefit.
“More than 300 children are treated in the U.S. every day, and two die as a result of poisoning…” (National Safety Council, n.d.)
“Fear appeals are persuasive message designed to frighten people into doing what the message recommends by depicting the terrible consequences.” (Morales, et al., p.283) One example of of a fear tactic displayed in this post is the use of the skull vector image (downloaded from Pixabay.com) over the school children depicts an idea of a negative outcome from Hazardous home products. The rationale behind this design with regards to persuasive influence is that If the images are graphic enough, they may create long-lasting memories. (O’keefe, 2002)
Sundar et al. (2012) mention, “individuals are more likely to be persuaded by or comply with a request if the communicator (influence agent) of the request is perceived as being similar. The heuristic or rule of thumb, suggesting that those who are similar to an influence target are probably right and know best. Thus, when heuristically processing, the influence target will change their attitudes to match a similar other if that is the most salient heuristic cue.” (p. 303) Current author alias, The Pro Dad, will act as the influence agent to create a sense of similarity for all parents and adults. The salient heuristic is the education provided to influence and persuade the removal of hazardous home products.
Written Piece One, released under an advocacy page for The Pro Dad, is written in a newsletter format. The document covers common parental topics such as back to school and art supplies commonly used in early education that can be hazardous home goods. The Newsletter format is meant to visually display credibility through a professional layout mirroring a document a child may receive from the school. Adults and parents of children who attend educational institutions or daycare centers are often extremely aware of their children’s happenings at school. The Newsletter is meant to persuade based on the idea that others are practicing cleaner and safer lifestyles for children. Thus, additional parties who begin take similar action are succumbing to social influences and persuasion.
According to Guadagno et al. with regards to, “social validation: If we see others doing it, we want to as well. The rapidity of communication by Internet and the ease of sending a message to many people from one person’s Twitter, e-mail, or Facebook account has dramatically changed the landscape of the Internet.” (p. 304) The Health Resources & Services Administration confirm that according to Bronstein et al. (2009), more than 90% of the time, poisonings happen in people’s homes. A majority of incidents are reported to occur in bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. By sharing this information and other educational posts about the harmful effects of hazardous products, “Pro-Social Requests (that is, requests from institutions that might provide some benefit to the community at large.” (p.227) Thus, further persuading the viewer that pro-social requests are something that benefits everyone. (O’keefe, 2002)
Fogg, B. J., Lee, E., & Marshall, J. (2002) Interactive technology and persuasion. In J. P. Dillard & M. Pfau (eds.), The Persuasion Handbook: Developments in Theory and Practice (pp. 99-116). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [eReserve]
Guadagno, R. E., Okdie, B. M., Muscanell, N. L. (2013) Have we all just become “robo- sapiens”? Reflections on social influence processes in the internet age. Psychological Inquiry, 24, 301-309.
Morales, A.C., Wu, E.C., & Fitzsimons, G.J. (2012). How disgust enhances the effectiveness of fear appeals. Journal of Marketing Research, 49(3): 383-393.
National Safety Council (n.d.) Poisons: What Parents Need To Know. Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/other-poisons/household-products
O’Keefe, D. J. (2002). Message Factors. Persuasion: Theory & Research (2nd ed., pp. 215-240). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [eReserve]
Sundar, S., Oh, J., Kang, H., & Sreenivasan, A. (2012). How does technology persuade?: Theoretical mechanisms for persuasive technologies. In J. Dillard, & L. Shen (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of persuasion: Developments in theory and practice. (2nd ed., pp. 388-405). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. [eReserve]