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Public information campaigns as policy instruments

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Author Info

  • Janet A. Weiss

    (Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy in the Institute of Public Policy Studies and in the School of Business Administration at the University of Michigan)

  • Mary Tschirhart

    (Assistant Professor on the Policy and Administration faculty of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University)

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    Abstract

    Considerable controversy surrounds public information campaigns: government-directed and sponsored efforts to communicate to large numbers of citizens in order to achieve a policy result, or what might be called government propaganda. We analyze the use of campaigns as policy instruments in three ways: (1) effectiveness in achieving substantive outcomes; (2) political benefits for public officials; and (3) consequences for democratic processes. Our review of 100 campaigns from these three perspectives reveals significant advantages and disadvantages of using campaigns in practice. We conclude that the advantages of public information campaigns justify their use as policy intruments when used appropriately and with care to mitigate the disadvantages.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/3325092
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 82-119

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:13:y:1994:i:1:p:82-119

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    Cited by:
    1. Gary T. Henry & Craig S. Gordon, 2003. "Driving less for better air: Impacts of a public information campaign," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 45-63.
    2. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2011. "Tax incidence with strategic firms on the soft drink market," TSE Working Papers, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) 11-233, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2012.
    3. Julien Etienne, 2010. "The impact of regulatory policy on individual behaviour: a goal framing theory approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 36541, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Laurent Van Malderen & Bart Jourquin & Isabelle Thomas & Thomas Vanoutrive & Ann Verhetsel & Frank Witlox, 2011. "Employer Mobility Plans: Acceptability, Efficiency And Costs," ERSA conference papers ersa10p291, European Regional Science Association.

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