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Memo #4 Assignment?Visual Persuasion


You work as a student hire for the Office of Undergraduate Education Financial Literacy office at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. You are also majoring in business at the Shidler College of Business, and many of the people connected with the office are concerned that students like you become educated about financial literacy during your time at UHM and Shidler College. You are learning about some of the functions of this wonderful service, but you were told by one of the advisors that during its early years, the office was especially concerned about credit card usage amongst UH students. This advisor tells you that before the passage of the Credit CARD Act in 2009, credit card companies would set up booths at Campus Center. These companies would solicit credit cards to students by offering freebies like frequent flyer mileage, balloons, and opportunities to win a free car?all popular and legal back then as perks to sign up for credit cards. Offering such benefits to young adults under 21 years of age as an inducement to apply for a credit card is today in general illegal. He also tells you that back then 20% of college students had credit card debt of $10,000 or more. He cites a source as saying that by 2013, the college student average credit card debt had dropped to $499, and the median credit card debt had dropped to $136, although those numbers have begun to creep back up in recent years. Nevertheless, he thinks it is time to include workshops on the importance of using credit cards to help build a solid credit history for students. He was especially alarmed after he recently overheard a student say to a friend?hopefully, jokingly? ?I?ll max out the credit card at $4,000, and then I won?t pay it?what are they going to do to me?? Aside from the damage such irresponsible behavior can have on the student?s credit history, the student was evidently unaware that he may end up having to pay federal and state taxes on this cancelled debt if the credit card company issues?which it almost certainly will?a Form 1099-C reporting cancellation of debt income. The form would be sent both to the student and to the IRS. Further, students may still receive credit card solicitations, despite the CARD Act?s limitations, once they are over the age of 21 or if they are working full time and can provide proof of income. Finally, students will need to use credit cards intelligently to build credit for the purchases they may want to make after college?renting a new apartment, buying a new car, and so forth.

He wants you to draft a blog that uses visual persuasion to convince students to attend these important workshops, so that students can learn

? responsible guidelines for credit card use, such as limiting the number of cards they have, charging only what they can repay each month except in case of emergency, shopping around for cards with the lowest interest rates, and so forth.

? that they shouldn?t use credit cards to try to get freebies like frequent flyer mileage because research shows that the discounts are rarely worth what they pay for them (interest, etc.).

? to think of credit cards as a key tool in their financial lives after college, whether it comes to attending graduate or professional school, getting jobs (many companies run credit checks on applicants), buying a home, or building a secure future.

As an example of such a blog, the advisor tells you to look at a flyer he recently saw advertising a business writing class, and he tells you ?a blog doesn?t necessarily need to be fancy or artistic to be effective.?

Visual Argument Example:–An%20English%20209%20Flyer%20with%20Clip-Art%20Image%20and%20AIDA%20Analysis.docx


The advisor suggests that you begin by analyzing your audience, and then thinking about what medium or media you will use to reach the target audience. He wants you to write a memo explaining all of this. He says that even though the business writing teacher?s flyer was acceptable, it wasn?t necessarily the right medium (a hard copy flyer taped to a wall) to reach most of the target audience. Here are some of the points he says you should answer in the memo:

? What socioeconomic groups do students at UHM come from? He says you should focus on undergraduate students, although he does not want graduate or professional school students excluded. He points you to a popular YouTube video entitled Wealth Inequality in America( so you can understand the concept of socioeconomic groups more clearly. He tells you ?the socioeconomic groups that attend UHM are very different from those that attend a college like Harvard( . Although all socioeconomic groups are represented at UHM, the groups that are especially represented in the undergraduate population are probably from the working class or middle class, although I have had trouble finding the data to back my feeling up.?

? He wants you to discuss how your visual message will target your audience. He says, ?There?s a video on visual persuasion called The Art of Persuasion?it was part of a documentary series called How Art Made the World. Think about the elements discussed in that video?art as personal adornment, the unifying power of logos (like our own UHM logo), and the persuasive power of the human face?in designing your blog. How will you use these elements to persuade students to attend these workshops??

? He also suggests that you skim over some material from the Ad Council, and points to a couple of sources (available via Laulima) you can look over. ?A lot of the public-service educational announcements we do at UHM are exactly the sorts of advertising the Ad Council has been doing for over 70 years. See if there?s anything you can find that?s useful in those sources.?

? Finally, he asks this question: What combination of media will you use to reach your target audience? He?s certain we will use the office?s website as one type of medium, and he mentions that there are interactive blogs posted there. However, hard copy distribution and e-mail delivery are also options for you to consider.

Information for Credit Card Workshop:

Key Information:–A%20Look%20at%20Audience%2C%20Persuasion%2C%20Visual%20Argument%2C%20and%20Message.pptx

Ad Council, Matters of Choice:

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