Advocacy Project

Initial ideas due: Wednesday, July 22 [verbal to class for feedback]

Presentations: Thursday, August 5 and 6

Final draft due: Thursday, August 6

One of the main goals of this course is to give you to the tools in intervene in the discourses around you. To that end, this project asks you to apply your prolific knowledge of media and their affordances to advance a real-world cause. In this project, you will be creating a multimedia advocacy project that aims to create change in the world. Be sure to have a specific desired consequence in mind–now that people have your information or have become aware, what do they do with it?

Whereas the past three projects have asked you to delve deeply into the meaning-making potential of a single medium, in your advocacy project you will be translating a single message across multiple media, paying close attention to the ways those media shape what you are able to say.

Your message and branding should feel consistent across the media—if you are edgy and funny in one, don’t try to be sincere and sentimental in another. Everything should look and feel like it’s coming from the same campaign. Finally, rather than being told what medium you have to explore, you can choose what you feel best suits your message and your audience.

Possible texts might include:

  • A physical poster/magazine advertisement
  • Graffiti
  • Images for distribution on facebook
  • An infographic
  • A social media campaign (NOT simply a social media account)
  • A YouTube video
  • A TV commercial
  • A radio commercial
  • A podcast
  • A map
  • A real-world event
  • An installation
  • A doorknob hanger
  • A related real-world artifact (water bottle, pen, shot glass)
  • A t-shirt

As with all the projects, your awareness campaign should be accompanied by a rationale that robustly discusses the choices you have made and how they advance your goals, contextualized by media scholarship and theory. Due to the complicated multimodal nature of the campaign, this can probably not be done in less than 1500 words.

Projects should:

  • Be well suited to the chosen audience. What media appeal to your audience? What kind of messages? How is your approach different from what they might have encountered a million times before—what makes you think that this will get the message across?
  • Be soundly engineered. If you are making a poster for a hallway, think about what people are doing in a hallway and how this kind of poster might or might not be different from an image encountered in a facebook feed. If you are making a video, why a video? How does this get your message across in ways that other media might not?
  • Be specific and achievable—have a clear call to action OR a clear focus on making the invisible visible. We don’t want “save the rainforest”; give specific instructions. Have clear, achievable goal in mind.
  • Be cohesive in message, language, and look—everything should be recognizably from the same source.

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