2/17 post

This week, Xinhua News continued their pattern of balancing out Chinese news with global news. There were a lot of unfortunate events that were covered this week, such as car accidents in China or terrorist attacks in Syria, but they also included positive Chinese news to balance out the negativity. For the Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC), it was a good week because they celebrated their 60th anniversary. It was also a good week for the Korean Embassy because they posted more interesting, engaging content as well as more English posts.

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On Twitter this week, Xinhua News tweeted about a city in China called Dexing. The tweet reads, “Not Machu Picchu, but a copper mine! East China’s Dexing continues copper production for 1,000 years and is now largest in Asia,” and informs the audience that this particular city has been producing copper for a great amount of time and has become the largest city in Asia for copper production. The purpose of this tweet is to inform the audience about a great accomplishment achieved by a Chinese city, as well as to appeal the greatness of China as a country. The tweet starts off by saying “Not Machu Picchu,” which is a reference to the most familiar icon of the Inca civilization. This reference goes with the images that the tweet includes, which are 4 pictures of Dexing landscape. They are beautiful, artistic photographs, and are relatively similar to Machu Picchu geography. The comparison of Dexing to a familiar and iconic geographical location first grabs the attention of the viewer, who probably already knows what Machu Picchu is, and appeals Dexing because of the insinuation that it is similar to a place that is praised for its magnificence and beauty. Additionally, the tweet implies that people confuse Dexing with Machu Picchu, because the post seems to be informing the reader that what they are seeing is not Machu Picchu, but in fact a copper mine. The inclusion of the facts that this city has been in copper production for 1,000 years and is now the largest Asian city to produce copper suggests that China is a successful country, who has been seeing this success for a long period of time. This information also insinuates that China is a hardworking nation, because a city like Dexing has continuously produced copper for 1,000 years until it became the largest in Asia- this showcases persistence and consistency of a small city that has worked until it achieved great success.

The intended audience for this tweet is the viewer that may feel neutral towards China, without particular nationalism for the country. Considering the fact that the tweet strongly appeals the greatness and accomplishments of China, it is evident that Xinhua News is trying to persuade their foreign audience, who don’t feel particular pride towards the country, that China is an impressive and successful country. The targeted audience is more broad for this tweet because one does not need a great deal of background knowledge to comprehend the message and information that is being sent out in this post. Another indicator that this tweet is targeting foreigners is because the word choice suggests that the reader did not know what Dexing was prior to reading the tweet; the post clears up the confusion that the pictures are not of Machu Picchu. Hence, the intended audience is foreigners who don’t feel nationalistic pride towards China.

This tweet has a strong pathos appeal, especially because of the breathtaking pictures of Dexing, which incite an appreciation for beauty and pride for the city. In addition, the facts that Dexing have been producing copper for 1,000 years and is now the largest in Asia may also bring feelings of pride and celebration for Chinese viewers. Logos appeal is showcased by the inclusion of facts about Dexing. Dexing’s credibility comes from the fact that they have been in the business for 1,000 years, and are the largest city in Asia for copper production; this is an intrinsic ethos appeal because the included information strengthens the credibility of Dexing.

 

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JASWDC celebrated their 60th birthday this week with a special event that served cake and Japanese confections. To promote this event, they posted a tweet that reads: “Happy birthday JASWDC! We’re 60 years young! Come have cake in the office from 12-1, or come have cake AND wagashi: http://bit.ly/2lbWQvr” Firstly, the purpose of this tweet is to inform the audience that JASWDC is celebrating their 60th anniversary and to promote their birthday event. The intended audience is anyone who is following JASWDC on Twitter, who is interested in eating cake and Japanese desserts. Additionally, the language and tone of this tweet seems to imply that they are targeting the younger audience. For example, JASWDC uses a birthday cake emoji and says that they are 60 years young; the overall tone of the post is lighthearted and casual. These aspects are an indication that they are attempting to appeal to younger viewers, most likely because they want to showcase how “cool” and “modern” the organization is. Furthermore, they end the tweet by saying “or come have cake AND wagashi” which grabs the attention of the viewer and encourages them to click on the link because they don’t explain what wagashi really is; only when the viewer gets to the event page can they find a nice explanation on wagashi (which is traditional Japanese sweets). There is also a call to action here, which is to click on the link and ultimately sign up for the event. JASWDC’s word choice urges the reader to do these things, by telling them to “come have cake.” It also seems that they are trying to entice the audience with mentions of delicious food like cake, because food is a common incentive to attend events.

The tweet comes with a picture of what is assumed to be the staff of JASWDC. The team seems to be quite diverse- not all the members are Asian. They also have both men and women. This image not only portrays JASWDC as a diverse organization, but also suggests that anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, can be a part of JASWDC. Furthermore, the inclusion of the team’s picture conveys a personal connection to the organization because they are revealing an aspect of their private life. The picture shows that the people behind the Twitter account and website are everyday people, just like the audience.

Pathos appeal seems to be the strongest; the team picture conveys feelings of teamwork and celebration because there is a custom-made, 60th birthday cake that is also featured. The light tone of the tweet, the birthday cake emoji, and words like “Happy birthday JASWDC!” also incite feelings of celebration and happiness. There is also a comical aspect that comes from “We’re 60 years young,” again appealing to pathos. A link is included, as well as information about time (12-1) which appeals to logos. The fact that JASWDC is an organization that has existed for 60 years is intrinsic ethos because it builds their credibility.

 

The Korean Embassy had a better week than previous ones because their content was more engaging, like a video for instance. On February 10th, the page shared a post (all in English) about the one-year countdown to the 2018 Winter Olympic in Pyeongchang, Korea. The original post included a link to teamusa.org, which is a schedule for the events for the athletes. Events include appearances on shows and other publicity methods. The purpose of this post is to inform the audience that there is exactly one year left until the Winter Olympics, as well as to inform them about athletes’ appearances and other schedules that will lead up to next year’s big event. The intended audience is clearly the international/English-speaking viewers, since the whole post is in English and the linked article is to teamusa.org, an English website. Furthermore, the article title starts off with “US Olympic Committee,” which grabs the attention of foreign viewers. This post definitely does not target the usual Korean-citizen audience of the page, which makes sense because the Embassy wants foreigners to come to Korea and attend the Winter Olympics. However, the Embassy shared a video later this week, which was a Korean advertisement for the Olympics. Thus, the Embassy wasn’t only advertising the event to the international viewers. As for the age range of the intended audience, the tone and word choice of the post suggests that they are targeting both young and old viewers- a smart choice because a significant event like the Olympics would appeal to all age groups.

There is a clear call to action on this post, which is to click on the link and read about the events of the “multi-city publicity and community outreach tour” that the Olympic committee has planned for advertisement. The post ends by saying, “If you’re interested in viewing events and moments during the day, check out the schedule” and then includes the link right after. The wording of this sentence engages the reader- “if you’re interested, check out the schedule”- and thus, an effective call to action. Furthermore, the post starts with “Today marks the one-year countdown to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea, and the U.S. Olympic Committee is celebrating the milestone in a big way.” The tone and language here is an effective hook to attract readers because it connotes that today is very significant- which already makes the reader curious about the reason for the significance- and then adds that the US Olympic Committee will be celebrating in a big way. The wording, in addition to the content, incites curiosity in the reader to continue reading. Additionally, the fact that the post is on the subject of the Olympics is already attention-grabbing, because the event is so widely-known and iconic.

Firstly, logos appeal is very strong in the post because it includes a lot of factual information, such as dates for specific events that the athletes have attended, and a link to the official website of the US Olympic team. Intrinsic ethos can be seen with the serious and informative tone of the post, as well as wording that indicates a solid understanding of the subject. Extrinsic ethos takes place in the fact that this information is from the official US Olympic Committee, which is supported by the link to the official website. In addition, the post says that the athletes will make an appearance on the Today Show on February 8th- as the Today Show is very popular, it is also an extrinsic source that builds credibility of the athletes and the “outreach tour” that is being described. Pathos appeal is showcased through the fact that there is exactly one year left until the Winter Olympics, inciting excitement for the event and celebration for the short wait.

 

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One post that I thought could have been more successful was an event that the Korean Embassy shared this week, about the 1st OnStage Korea showcase which will be performed at the Mead Center. This showcase, hosted by the Korean Cultural Center in DC, will feature the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company. The problem of this post is that there is no caption that will entice the viewer to click on the event link and read more about the event. The link includes a picture of dancers, which initially grabs the audience’s attention because it looks interesting and gets the viewer curious about who the dancers are and what they are performing. However, the absence of a caption explaining the basic context of the picture robs the full potential of this post because while the viewer may be interested from the picture, they aren’t urged to do anything more. There is no call to action that would encourage them to attend this great event. Once the viewer clicks on the event page, there is a detailed description about the showcase, including who is performing, their background, and a brief introduction on what they will be performing. Viewers who actually read the event description will find out that tickets are actually free with RSVP, which is a huge incentive to attend this event. However, when one sees this shared post on the Embassy’s page, there is no clear incentive to explore further. While the purpose of the post is clear, the call to action and audience hook is weak. Therefore, I think including an engaging caption will make this post more successful: “Do you find yourself struggling to find Thursday plans? Are you having difficulty affording fun? Do you enjoy watching dance performances? If so, come to the 1st ever OnStage Korea Showcase on March 9th (Thursday) at the Mead Center! This showcase will feature the renowned Korea National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC) for the U.S. premiere of Immixture (혼합). Immixture was recently seen at the Theatre National de Challiot in Paris and the Festival International de Musica y Danza de Granada in Spain, so you definitely don’t want to miss out. The best part of all: this awesome showcase is FREE with RSVP! So what are you waiting for? Click on the link below and sign up for an opportunity to have the best Thursday night you’ve ever had!”

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