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During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital and broadcast media were integral in quickly disseminating information to large groups of people and keeping them updated as the situation evolved. The many different ways in which information may be presented has been proven to affect how it is received by an audience in terms of emotional response and memorability. However, there exists less research regarding the actual efficacy of different kinds of public service announcements (PSAs) when it comes to combating the spread of communicable illnesses in practice. In addition, there is criticism that certain approaches have been ineffective. This research aims to connect PSAs in video format at various points in time from the 1980s to the present day in the United States during outbreaks of three different communicable diseases (HIV, COVID-19, and influenza) to significant changes in rate of infection or public behavior. Key features within these PSAs, such as tone and information density, will be identified to find a pattern for which kinds of PSAs are typically most effective in preventing the spread of illness for the future.



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The Efficacy of Various Video Public Service Announcements in Fighting the Spread of Communicable Illness