The Long and the Short of It: Maximizing the Impact of Public Service Announcements in the Age of the “Twitterverse”
Authors: Harper Roehm Jr.
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This article reports the results of an empirical study of current public service announcements. We apply a framework of communication norms espoused by Grice (1975) to identify a structural dimension of public service announcements – conciseness – that has been relatively understudied and that may be crucial to understanding the level of audience impact that is achieved. Further, recognizing the evolving concerns of sponsors in a marketplace flooded with novel modes of communication, we examine potential differences in the dynamics of conciseness as a function of the conventions of “new” (e.g., web-based) versus “traditional” (e.g., standard television, print) media environments. Results garnered from testing two forms of new media and two forms of traditional media suggest that persuasiveness varies with message length in opposing directions. For new media, messages that were briefer created a stronger impression, whereas for messages in traditional media, greater duration corresponded to greater impact.