Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are powerful social issue ads targeting a great variety of problems, including human trafficking. To increase the effectiveness of an advertisement campaign and address the issues more efficiently, it is important to understand what the project’s target audience is and select the appropriate communication means which will support the ad’s effectiveness.
Nowadays, human trafficking is a large social problem that creates substantial threats to the global community’s welfare and adversely affects individual lives.
Although this issue is of concern for every social member and group, is it observed that young women and girls constitute a particularly vulnerable category of the population that suffers from human trafficking most (Wesley par. 1). Therefore, this project primarily aims to convey risk information regarding this vexed problem to young females.
By including social advertising in their publications, print media contribute to the development of public awareness. But it is possible to say that when the discussed problem is especially significant and topical, the transferring of the desired message to the public is facilitated.
Readers of local newspapers are characterized by diverse backgrounds, and although the given project is intended to target a specific stakeholder group, the publication of the PSA project will allow conveying the message to many other people as well.
Both adult audience and school students can be inspired by the PSA, but it is important to consider that individuals of different ages will perceive it differently – when younger readers may increase the awareness of the importance of protective measures, the adults can become more motivated to take a proactive position.
Since the human trafficking issue is very disturbing, the given PSA aims to elicit human compassion and encourage people to take action for the improvement of the situation.
Thus, the project will attempt to motivate adults to educate children and youth, especially from the vulnerable population group, about safety rules, which is one of the major steps in the process of human trafficking reduction on both local and national levels.
The risk associated with making the PSA project about human trafficking is rooted in the fact that the topic has severe negative connotations and emotional implications. There is a possibility that the ad may shock the audience and result in the subsequent instinctive avoidance of the matter.
My task, therefore, is to reveal the data about global human trafficking and risk populations in a way that may appeal to diverse people, including disadvantaged groups that have little or no access to education resources. This objective requires using a strong social and emotional appeal to encourage the public to act. It coincides with the rules of the genre in terms of stylistics, visual devices, and other textual intricacies (Bell par. 10).
The researchers observe that objectives, as well as visual and textual content, determine stylistic peculiarities of any piece of the genre (Tikhomirova et al. 1372). Since the PSA purpose is to increase awareness and provoke a positive change, and since the project will target a wide audience, the choice will fall on shorter sentences and paragraphs.
The project will provide both quantitative and qualitative data on the issue, including figures and charts, which will constitute a part of the visual design. At the same time, the words related to victims have to be powerful to elicit the desired response. The issue has to be presented very illustratively, which means that references will be left in smaller print at the bottom of the ad. In this way, it will be possible to avoid unnecessary distractions.
One of the challenges of the printed PSA is that it can be less effective than the audiovisual one because people tend to be less responsive to the written material. However, the appropriate and well-balanced focus on the significance and topicality of the problem may facilitate a better understanding of the genre and stimulate the desired response from the audience.
Bell, Jaclyn. “How to Create the Perfect Public Service Announcement.” Center for Digital Education, 2010.
Tikhomirova, Larisa S., Natalya Danilevskaya, Elena Bazhenova, Larisa Kyrkunova and Svetlana Ovsyannikova. “Role of the Structure of Public Service Advertising Text in Influencing its Recipient.” The Social Sciences, vol. 10, no. 6, 2015, pp. 1371-1374. MedwellJournals.
Wesley, Stephanie. “Human Traffickers Target Aboriginal Girls, Women.” Native News Network, 2013.