In the article by Jean-Baptiste Jean-Pierre on HIV/AIDS, the importance of carrying out pretesting method is apparent. Jean-Pierre opens the article by providing a clear and easy to understand definition of pretesting in which it is classified as a type of formative research entailing systematic collection of reactions to materials and information from target audience prior to their actual presentation. The article also outlines the goal of pretesting and its significance particularly when the target audience is characterized by individuals of different cultures and level of education.
The author then shifts focus to the purpose of his article which entails use of pretesting in public service announcement (PSA) in Brooklyn, New York on matters concerning use of condoms as a tool for preventing the spread of HIV among African American women of between 20 to 49 years old. The probing question is whether media stations will allocate enough time to the PSA. Media stations normally shy away from airing controversial issues since they might destroy their reputation and in turn, their business might collapse (Hampton, Rabinowitz, & Nagy, 2010).
However, selection of HIV/ AIDS and condom use for the PSA comes in handy in ensuring stations run them. Controversial issues such as gay marriage wield enormous difficulties in convincing media stations to run the PSA. As a result of HIV prevention through use of condoms not being contentious, the PSA is made more effective hence having a high chance of reaching the target audience. On reaching the target audience, the message is more likely to encourage them and enhance their awareness on the issue at hand.
In addition to having experts from radio or television to check and evaluate the message, it is imperative to consult religious leaders, activists and health practitioners on the same (Hampton, Rabinowitz, & Nagy, 2010). The message might meet the requirements of media but lack the intensity necessary to kindle the most appropriate reaction from the target audience. In his article, Jean-Pierre includes experts from media and communication field but excludes those from the health sector thereby making the announcement vulnerable to incompetency.
Involving individuals from the health fraternity is crucial to ensuring greater effectiveness of the PSA. Jean-Pierre intends to utilize short questionnaire which normally consume little time since they comprise of brief questions regarding the perception of the information to be conveyed, its ease of understanding and the modifications required. Such questions ensure that the PSA reaches the target audience and provokes the expected positive reaction (Siegel & Lotenberg, 2007).
Moreover, employing market research techniques might prove effective in evaluating the program. Besides the technique having flaws, it provides a quicker and cost effective method for gathering data on the program (Poscente, Rothstein, & Irvine, 2002), thereby enhancing its ability to fine-tune mass media channels and the assembling of health promotion information. Such techniques could improve the pretesting method by enhance the effectiveness of the message conveyed to the target audience through PSA. References Hampton, C. , Rabinowitz, P.
& Nagy, K. (2010). Preparing public service announcements. The Community Tool Box. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from http://ctb. ku. edu/en/tablecontents/sub_section_main_1065. htm Poscente, N. , Rothstein, M. & Irvine, M. J. (2002). Using marketing research methods to evaluate a stage-specific intervention. American Journal of Health Behavior 26(4): 243-251. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from EBSCO database. Siegel, M. & Lotenberg, D. L. (2007). Marketing public health: Strategies to promote social change. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
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