Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.9. Explain the promotion / support of a cause

ryanrori January 24, 2021

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Every message that you receive from, say, the television or the radio, is the result of someone carefully selecting what should be said and what must not be said. The effect of a message depends not only on what information is in it, but also the information that is not. 

When watching a television advertisement, you already know that you have a choice. There are always alternative products that you can choose over the one being advertised.

Think about a cleaning product; let’s call it “Dirt Away”. This product may be advertised as the only product that can be used on all surfaces – that’s great! What the advertiser does not tell you though, is that this product tends to discolour white surfaces over a period of time. Or, maybe they don’t tell you that the product can cause an adverse reaction on sensitive skin.

Another example is one of a Glue type substance that can be used to stick Posters, photographs, etc. on the wall. You are not told though, that the product leaves marks that do not clean off.

How many advertisements do we see on Television where a product is being advertised, but you never actually see the product? The products are replaced by hints of a particular way of life, symbolising the excitement and glamour that is associated with the use of that product. There are indications, however, that this type of advertising does not always persuade people to buy the product. They will always remember the stylish advertisement, but not always the product that was being advertised.

The simple rule, then, of persuasion is this: Always make clear what it is that you want people to buy or do. This is especially important if the medium you are using is the printed word, since there is no guarantee that your reader will understand oblique references which attempt to sell the product by association.

If you are direct in stating your aim, no matter how stylish your approach, your results will show.

Respond to selected texts

Each time we read a text, a certain response is elicited from us, whether it is in line with the writer’s intentions or not. Sometimes a piece touches us to the extent that we become emotional; for example, a story involving the suffering of children usually affects even the most hard-hearted among us. At other times, we are left cold, or a piece of writing has the exact opposite effect than the writer intended; for example, a particularly annoying advertisement can make you resolve never to buy a particular product!

Certain texts require us to respond in a particular way; for example instructions on how to use a particular piece of technology, or written instructions from management. We therefore need to be able to interpret the instructions correctly.

A customer or colleague may send us a request. We need to be able to interpret the request accurately in order to fulfil their requirements within our ability and level of authority.

We also need to be able to reply to these instructions and requests in an appropriate manner and on the appropriate level of formality. If we cannot meet the customer’s request, we still need to be able to tell him/her in such a way that it does not impact negatively on the customer’s relationship with the business.