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A Multidimensional Approach to the Study of Media Effects
Unformatted Document Text:  23 The next-best condition would depend on whether you want immediate or enduring effects. If you cannot produce immediate and lasting effects then your second choice is to produce either enduring but not immediate change or immediate but not enduring change. As Windahl and colleagues observed, “the common notion of a long-term effect— it takes a long time to build up and lasts a long time” might consist of sex education classes designed to educate young people about AIDS. Socialization is another example of an effect that takes a long time to build up but lasts a long time. Some mass communication efforts are deemed effective if they produce only short-lived effects. As Windahl and colleagues observed, “Planned communication efforts often fall into this category—short interventions expected to produce effects of short duration, and, too often, accompanied by an unrealistic hope of effects of long duration.” They give the example of “a three-day TV ad blitz during a gay rights convention in a major American city. The hoped-for results were restricted to immediate compliance with the message, which might be as limited as, ‘Use a condom tonight!’” The effect may have been ephemeral but in this case an immediate effect was considered a successful effort, even if the effect did not last beyond the weekend. If we cannot produce immediate and lasting change, and we cannot even produce immediate or enduring change, then we must settle for a short-lived change that takes a long time to achieve. While this is the worst of the four scenarios for a would-be mass communicator, it is nonetheless a condition that can still lead to an effective communication. An election campaign is a good example. Over the course of the race,

Authors: Lasorsa, Dominic.
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23
The next-best condition would depend on whether you want immediate or
enduring effects. If you cannot produce immediate and lasting effects then your second
choice is to produce either enduring but not immediate change or immediate but not
enduring change.
As Windahl and colleagues observed, “the common notion of a long-term effect—
it takes a long time to build up and lasts a long time” might consist of sex education
classes designed to educate young people about AIDS. Socialization is another example
of an effect that takes a long time to build up but lasts a long time.
Some mass communication efforts are deemed effective if they produce only
short-lived effects. As Windahl and colleagues observed, “Planned communication
efforts often fall into this category—short interventions expected to produce effects of
short duration, and, too often, accompanied by an unrealistic hope of effects of long
duration.” They give the example of “a three-day TV ad blitz during a gay rights
convention in a major American city. The hoped-for results were restricted to immediate
compliance with the message, which might be as limited as, ‘Use a condom tonight!’”
The effect may have been ephemeral but in this case an immediate effect was considered
a successful effort, even if the effect did not last beyond the weekend.
If we cannot produce immediate and lasting change, and we cannot even produce
immediate or enduring change, then we must settle for a short-lived change that takes a
long time to achieve. While this is the worst of the four scenarios for a would-be mass
communicator, it is nonetheless a condition that can still lead to an effective
communication. An election campaign is a good example. Over the course of the race,


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