The overall goal of my group’s campaign is for the city of Pittsburgh to receive adequate funding to be able to improve the infrastructure of the many structurally deficient bridges in the area. In order to do so, two main audiences need to be addressed: government officials and citizens/commuters of the area. Because of this, our campaign pieces need to be detailed and fact-based so that readers and/or listeners can become passionate and concerned about the problem, and possibly present the case to city officials. However, they must also be worded simply enough so that information can be spread easily to other ordinary citizens and commuters. Without widespread knowledge about the infrastructure problem, our campaign will never reach its goal.
Ridolfo and DeVoss’ section on amplification contains valuable information in regards to spreading information and reaching wider audiences. The use of the internet will be crucial in our campaign plan, and as the two authors point out, the concept of amplification through the internet is relatively simple and can be incredibly effective. They describe the use of “attack videos” in their piece:
“In the case of short attack videos, only the footage of the actual attack need come from Iraq. Once an affiliated individual has received that footage and basic accompanying information, which can be transferred over the Internet or by mobile phone, he has only to add the insurgent group’s logo, a short title sequence, and perhaps a soundtrack with a motivational song. He then uploads the resulting video product to a free upload-download site and posts an announcement to a forum. The video-editing software required to produce such a video is cheap and readily available. (p. 35)”
Reading this passage actually changed my outlook on my second campaign piece. While I originally thought that a brochure describing the bridge problem and what needed to be done would suffice, I now realize that the internet should be the main concern. As Ridolfo and Devoss show in their work, the audience of a public piece can exponentially increase through the use of the internet. Now, for our campaign, the problem is figuring out what type of internet piece will be most effective and easy to be shared.
In my experience, I believe people become incredibly passionate when their hometown or home area is being affected. On social media, there are often passionate articles and videos that are posted, and then are repeatedly shared. It is certainly possible that a dramatic video, with pictures of the deficient bridges and views of the city would be most effective in reaching my group’s desired audience. Viewers will then most likely share the video, and most likely add their own sentence or two explaining their receptions and/or opinions about the problem. In extreme cases, viewers might create their own video showing their reaction to the original video. These reaction videos have become more popular over the years, especially on YouTube.
As the authors state, “Rhetorical velocity is, simply put, a strategic approach to composing for rhetorical delivery.” When composing my second campaign piece, it is important that I take into consideration how it will be perceived and altered by my directed audience. In doing so, I can determine how the information I present can be spread even further, thus increasing concern about and interest of the campaign.