The week five requirement in COMSTRAT561 requests that we display a persuasion post that exemplifies how message structure, message content, or the order in which a request is made influences message persuasiveness (See O’Keefe, 2002, pp. 215-240). To meet requirements secondary research was performed and the following essay will discuss the persuasion tactics involved.
“What one person finds extremely fearful may be only mildly worrisome to another person. Still, in general, stronger fear appeal contents do arouse greater fear.” (O’keefe, p.225) According to O’keefe “It may be that receivers’ initial skepticism about consumer advertising leads receivers to expect that advertisers will provide a one-sided depiction of the advertised product-and thus when an advertisement freely acknowledges (and does not refute) opposing considerations, the advertiser’s credibility is enhanced” (p. 221)
As a new parent of a two-year-old with the expectation of another daughter arriving this fall, future childhood growth and development relies on subject matter education. To learn about the topic and persuade others to follow suit and remove harmful products from their homes, the facebook group, www.facebook.com/groups/hazardoushomeproducts, will be the home for article posts and product summaries. The homepage will also be accessible through a hyperlink at the-pro-dad.com. According to O’keefe (2002), “persuasive messages have some point-some opinion or belief that the communicator hopes the audience will accept” (p.215)
The internet, saturated with articles and content attempting to change consumer behaviors, presents challenges in attracting the attention of consumers. In an attempt to gain credibility, the decision was made to publish content under an alias, The Pro Dad (Instagram.com/the_pro_dad). A blatant attempt to establish relevancy to any adult, parent, or homeowner is present. This ongoing campaign will analyze research to persuade digital media users (Facebook) to remove hazardous products from their homes.
This persuasion piece posted by The Pro Dad covers broad categories of Waste Management including an Introduction to Waste Management featuring: Batteries, Pesticide, Mercury-containing equipment & Lamps. By establishing a starting point for our campaign, the opportunity is available to delve into sub-categories that will eventually lead to the analysis of individual consumer products. A goal for this campaign is to continue research and post updated material upon the conclusion of the semester at Washington State University. This project will remain active and a part of an ongoing resume. As O’keefe (2002) mentions, “…the message introduced a pro-social request, that is, requests from institutions that might provide some benefit to the community at large.” (p.227)
A fear appeal is often present in posting in an attempt to persuade consumers to become educated, take action, and ultimately change behaviors. The pro-social approach and genuine interest in keeping fellow Homo sapiens and our children safe is the primary goal of this campaign. “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) By displaying the limited categories currently regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), I hope to apply an appropriate level of fright so that consumers take an interest in the campaign and hopefully take action to remove harmful products from their homes immediately.
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.
O’Keefe, D. J. (2002). Message Factors. Persuasion: Theory & Research (2nd ed., pp. 215-240). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [eReserve]