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Social issues infotainment: Using emotion and entertainment to attract readers' attention in social issues leaflets

Gregory, Judith M. (2003) Social issues infotainment: Using emotion and entertainment to attract readers' attention in social issues leaflets. Information Design Journal, 11(1), pp. 67-81.

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Abstract

Printed leaflets are widely used in social issues campaigns, but there is little evidence to suggest that they are consistently successful and little research to help campaigners decide what techniques will attract audience attention. Existing research suggests that leaflets may be successful for audiences who are actively looking for information, but less successful for audiences who either don’t know or don’t care about the topic being promoted. In this paper, I focus on the strategies that campaigners use to attract readers’ attention to social issues leaflets. I identify two broad message strategies – information/argument strategies and emotion/entertainment strategies – and, through a review of the social issues literature, examine how these strategies are typically used by campaigners. I review a collection of existing social issues leaflets to explore the strategies most frequently used, and analyse one leaflet to describe how attention-getting strategies are used in practice. Through my review of existing leaflets, I conclude that most leaflets adopt an information/argument strategy to present their information. I argue that this may explain why leaflets are most useful for audiences who are already interested in the topic. The information/argument strategy provides straightforward information: it assumes an interested audience and does little to attract audience attention. I question whether leaflets may be more successful with uninterested audiences if they adopted some of the attention-getting devices included in the emotion/entertainment message strategy.

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ID Code: 401
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: social issues, leaflets, attacting attention, strategies
DOI: 10.1075/idj.11.1.11gre
ISSN: 1569-979X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Copyright Statement: From/based on "Social issues infotainment: Using emotion and entertainment to attract readers’ attention in social issues leaflets." Information Design Journal 11(1). : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher: This journal is available online.
Deposited On: 30 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:03

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