Organ Donation Posters: Developing Persuasive Messages

Yu-Hung Chien 1 *

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Posters are a general form of mass media that have often been used by organ procurement organizations to promote organ donation; however, to date, there are no studies discussing the procurement efficacy of organ donation posters. The present study collected organ donation posters, analyzed their categories, and discussed the persuasive power of their graphic and text contents using the message-framing theory. Fifty-three professionally designed posters from 15 countries were selected from 2,000-plus organ donation-related websites. The posters were classified into instructional, educational, evidential, and charitable categories, and the methods and contents of their framed messages were analyzed. Results of this study showed that the posters seldom reflected knowledge about effective ways to frame their messages. Most of the posters only directly and plainly presented, but did not promote, donation messages to the audience. Only some of the posters used promotional strategies such as designing the graphics and text specifically for different populations, displaying celebrity endorsements, providing knowledge and statistical data, dispelling myths, using narrative stories, presenting successful transplantation cases, or emphasizing the well-being of others or public welfare. If the above strategies could be combined with gain-framed messages, these posters would be more persuasive. Suggestions for gain-framed message are offered, but these recommendations must be tested empirically.


Framing message Organ donation Persuasion Posters


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 4, Issue 4, October 2014, pp. 119-135

Published Online: 15 Oct 2014

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