Mirror Messages Campaign Strategy
Mirror Messages is a movement that spreads positivity to those who suffer with low self-esteem issues by encouraging others to post inspirational messages on sticky notes and leaving these sticky notes on the mirrors of a bathroom for someone else to see. According to the article Improving the Body Image, Eating Attitudes, and Behaviors of Young Male and Female Adolescents: A New Educational Approach that Focuses on Self-Esteem, some schools offer a self-esteem education program that aim to change body image and behaviors of young men and women that involves an eating disorder intervention program. “The results of these interventions showed that the information-based approach to the primary prevention of eating disorders is likely to improve knowledge of eating disorders and problem eating, but is unlikely to affect the beliefs, attitudes, intent, and behaviors that influence the development of eating problems” (O’dea and Abraham 2000). The goal of this movement is to decrease the number of young men and women who are unhappy with their body and/or experience some sort of body dysmorphia, and the solution is by posting these sticky notes in places that trigger low self-esteem, such as bathroom mirrors, to brighten someone else’s day. I have personally seen this movement take place, specifically at the Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center at the University of Rhode Island, and believe that getting more college students involved in this movement would be extremely beneficial to those who need encouraging messages in their life.
The overall goal for my campaign is to spread the word about this movement by asking students to participate in the mirror messages movement and then challenge their friends to do the same. For my campaign strategy, I decided that the best way to spread the word about this movement is to have participants use a hashtag #MIRRORMESSAGES whenever they post about being part of the campaign on social media. The target audience for this campaign are young men and women, specifically college students, between the ages of 17 and 23 years old. For the production process of this campaign, I decided that the best way to reach this target audience was by creating an Instagram account for the campaign as well as an infographic that explains the four steps someone can take to join the campaign, including the following: (1) write down an inspirational message on a sticky note, (2) find a mirror to display the message, (3) challenge a friend to join, and (4) spread the word by using the #MIRRORMESSAGES hashtag.
In class, we discussed how the use of beneficial propaganda in visual material can attract an audience and persuade this audience to change their behaviors. “A strong line of argument proposes that persuasion is effected by bringing an audience into a state of emotion. In terms of campaigns, those of the text-rich education-type have been superseded by visual-rich social marketing. This shift reflects a body of evidence that information alone does not attract people’s attention sufficiently to bring on the changes that campaigns hope to effect. Rather, they have to be lured in and, to this end, visual material is called upon” (Joffe 2016). Because people today are less literate and are more attracted to advertisements that include powerful visuals, I used an infographic for my campaign that included a small amount of information with pictures to correspond with the information to attract my target audience. I also created a Mirror Messages campaign Instagram account that has posted several powerful pictures about body dysmorphia and how joining the campaign can help others who experience low self-esteem. “According to communications theories, repeated exposure to media content leads views to begin to accept media portrayals as representations of reality” (Grabe, Ward, and Hyde 2008). Every day, men and women are exposed to unrealistic body expectations and compare their own physical appearance to the ones they see on social media sites like Instagram. My goal for this campaign is to fill media sites, such as Instagram, with body-positive messages from the Mirror Messages movement to expose the men and women suffering with low self-esteem to encouraging words and boost their confidence.
Through this course, I have learned how easily propaganda can be spread through a variety of mediums. For example, Twitter and other social media sites play a major role in the spread of “fake news” and other messages that are intended to disinform the public. I also learned that the ability to persuade the general public is crucial for any propagandist to succeed in their role and they rely on gaining the public’s approval. Similar to Hitler, being a successful propagandist requires confidence when delivering a message as well as a support system behind them.
Although many people believe that propaganda is a negative aspect in the news, where it’s intent is only to disinform the public, I learned in this course that there are also many forms of beneficial propaganda. For example, AT&T came out with a campaign against texting and driving, and released a documentary called From One Second to the Next that showed the impacts of texting and driving accidents not only from the victim’s point of view but also from the offender’s point of view. The goal of this campaign was to spread awareness about texting and driving and asking the public to join the campaign. Through creating my first propaganda mini-campaign, I have created beneficial propaganda by creating awareness of body image issues and persuading others to change their behaviors and attitudes towards the issue.
Grabe, S., Ward, L. M., and Hyde, J. S. (2008). The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns Among Women: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies. Retrieved at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shelly_Grabe/publication/5259131_The_Role_of_the_Media_in_Body_Image_Concerns_Among_Women_A_Meta-Analysis_of_Experimental_and_Correlational_Studies/links/54302c850cf27e39fa9dca4b.pdf
Joffe, H. (2016). The Power of Visual Material: Persuasion, Emotion and Identification. Retrieved at https://propaganda2017.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/joffe-2008-the-power-of-visual-material-persuasion-emotion-1.pdf
O’Dea, J. A. and Abraham, S. (2000). Improving the Body Image, Eating Attitudes, and Behaviors of Young Male and Female Adolescents: A New Educational Approach that Focuses on Self-Esteem. Retrieved at https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/31428574/odeaabraham2000.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1525734934&Signature=hVMq0TUyJtzD4v0e%2FNtQc66aLAc%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DImproving_the_body_image_eating_attitude.pdf