COMM 339 -- Persuasion

Dr. Lee McGaan  

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Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Course Description Syllabus Course Notes and Handouts Course Assignments +


 Last updated 11/11/2016

This assignment completes the public service campaign project you have been working on.  The paper will consist of four sections, each separate and labeled.

INTRODUCTION.  Before beginning the first labeled section, write an introductory paragraph or two that describes the nature of the paper, lets the reader know what to expect and overviews the sections to follow (i.e. an introduction to the paper).  Including a cover page and a table of contents, even an executive summary, are nice touches and show an added level of professionalism even though they are not required.


SECTION 1.  Topic, Exigence, Goals.  This section describes the topic of your campaign, why it is a reasonable campaign effort at this time (exigence), and the goals you have set for the campaign to achieve by its completion.  This may well be a revised version of Section I of your Campaign Overview/Audience paper plus the campaign goals you described in section III of the intro paper.  Use sub-sections with clear labels(maximum length - 1.5 pages)          [ 10 pts  ]


SECTION 2.  Audience Segments.  You may include in this section a discussion of the key dimensions of the audience that you analyzed in your Overview paper (optional). Following any material you include about the general audience and dimensions, in this section describe all of the segments of your audience that will receive specific messages in the course of your campaign, not just the two segments you described in II.B. of your Campaign Overview paper.  Be sure to indicate the characteristics of these segments (growing out of the 8 critical dimensions) that make them useful special targets of campaign messages  This could be done in the form of a bulleted list. (You only need to list those audience characteristics that are relevant to actual campaign messages, not necessarily all eight critical audience dimensions.).  Use sub-sections with clear labels  (maximum length - 2-3 pages)          [  10pts.  ]


SECTION 3.  Promotion.  This section will describe the substance of your campaign.  Some of this is likely to include concepts developed in your message strategy presentation.  The section will have three labeled subsections:           [  35 points total  ]

  •  IDENTITY (themes, symbols, motives, values),  How you will get the audience to recognize your campaign/product in a favorable way.   (maximum length - 1 page)     [ 5 pts.  ]

  •  CREDIBILITY (how your campaign/product will establish

    • trust in sources and messages,

    • confidence in your program or product and

    • identification with the audience), and  (maximum length - 1+ page)     [  5 pts.  ]

  •  CASE-BUILDING (the arguments, theories and appeals you will use to create mental change in the audience and its segments sufficient to obtain your goals)  [ This subsection is the “guts” of this assignment.  I suggest you organize this section of your paper into sections that discuss arguments, then theory and then appeals appeals used for the general audience and for each major segment.  See the sample cases for ideas.  It is usually helpful if you refer to sample messages placed in the appendixes when discussing strategies in this section. ]     (maximum length - 6 pages)          [  25  pts.  ]


SECTION 4.  Activation.  This section will describe the timing of the various events and messages you envision for the campaign from beginning to successful conclusion.  (It can take the form of a numbered (possibly dated as well) list of activities and messages.)  While each event can be described briefly in just a phrase or at most a few sentences, be sure to indicate, not only what the activity is, but what method/medium will be used and what goal you have for the message/activity and the audience/ segment the activity/message is aimed at.  By the end of this section of your paper I should be convinced that your goals could be accomplished with this plan.   This can be done in the form of a time line.

 (maximum length - 2-3 pages)          [  15 pts.  ]


[ Sample messages mentioned in this section could be presented for illustration purposes as appendices following section 4. You will want to mention your messages from the strategy presentation in this section and you may want to include the messages themselves as samples in the appendix. Generally, papers that include multiple sample messages get better grades than those that do not. ]


This is your last effort to persuade me that you are a sharp, savvy persuader.  Thus, you should make this document easy to read (use white space, section and sub-section labels, etc.).  Be sure you are following all the instructions above and including all the elements I asked for.  You should make the sections hang together.  I should be able to see in section 4 evidence of the activities that will accomplish what is described in section 3 directed to audience segments mentioned in section 2.  Most important, you should use the terms, concepts and theories we have been studying this semester throughout the paper to illustrate your knowledge of persuasion.


Campaign Plan Evaluation form

Paper Due: Friday, December 2