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Effective Public Policy Delivery System in the Age of Information Overload - The Role of Imagery on Citizen Perception and Compliance of Public Policy

  • Korean Social Science Journal
  • Abbr : KSSJ
  • 2012, 39(1), pp.1-17
  • Publisher : Korean Social Science Research Council
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general

Michael J. Ahn 1

1University of Massachusetts Boston

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Effective communication of public policy between citizens and the government is a critical factor of successful public policy implementation. However, in our rapidly changing information environment characterized by information overload and emergence of visual communication such as YouTube, there is a growing need for the public sector to adapt. Traditional ways of government communication such as official documents and public announcements that are typically considered to be overly objective, dispassionate, and lengthy are proving increasingly ineffective where the visual communication with its vivid imagery and emotionally charged appeal is beginning to dominate our information environment and influence general public. Drawing on a case of Mad Cow Disease citizen protest against importing of U.S. beef in South Korea where strong negative imagery against the U.S. beef portrayed by a TV program called, PD Note, significantly undermined the government policy, this article suggests that, in our changing information environment, there should be a fundamental transformation in the way communication takes place between citizens and the government toward more active reaching-out and “advertising” of policies. In addition, more element of visual communication should be incorporated in government communication in order to create positive impression and image about government policies. Without such shift, the effectiveness of policy communication will continue to decline in current information environment and government policies may become increasingly vulnerable to negative images portrayed by policy antagonists who may more effectively use the power of images to persuade general public.

Citation status

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