Nothing especially new happened to Xinhua News this week, besides focusing a little more on Chinese politics and economics than usual and reporting on those subject areas more. JASWDC focused almost entirely on the cultural aspects of Japan this week, introducing various new facts pertaining to cuisine, language, cultural activities like dance, and more. As for the South Korean Embassy, they shared many English posts this week, which is an evident improvement from before. It seems as though they have been increasingly sharing more English posts these past few weeks, a hopeful indicator that their social media campaign will improve.
On Twitter this week, Xinhua News posted about an impressive technological accomplishment by China: they have established the world’s largest 5g test field. The purpose of this tweet is to inform the audience about China’s new 5g achievement, as well as to augment China’s image as a technological innovator. This post is targeting those who are interested in technology and follow technological news; in particular, this post is intended for the people who were already aware that 5g test fields were being created by countries across the globe, because readers need some background knowledge of the current race to standardize the mobile communication technology in order to fully comprehend the article and post. Additionally, the intended audience are foreigners because Xinhua News is clearly trying to appeal China’s international image here. By emphasizing how China’s 5g test field is the “world’s largest,” Xinhua is heightening China’s accomplishment and also attracting attention and curiosity from the viewers to this event and post. The mention of 5g is already eye-grabbing in the first place because for the general audience, 5g is relatively unheard of; many people (myself included) may be surprised that something beyond 4g even exists. The post also states that China aims to commercialize 5g networks “as early as 2020,” which is only 3 years from now; this fact makes the viewer anticipate for the near future, and encourages them to read further about the issue. Also, the fact that China only needs approximately 3 years to begin commercializing 5g networks indicates to the audience that they are technologically advanced and ahead of the global community, which again strengthens China’s image. Xinhua did a good job creating a tweet that stimulates curiosity and anticipation in the viewer. The tone of the tweet is professional and serious, which makes sense because they would want the news to sound legitimate and professional. The included image depicts a dark, mysterious background with “Connecting 5g everything” in bright, white letters. This contrast emphasizes the assumedly amazing benefits that 5g technology would bring, as the letter are emphasized. Furthermore, the picture shows many people who are assumedly looking at 5g technology at a store, which represents the bandwagon technique because the viewers see a bunch of people interested in this new technology, influencing them to be interested as well.
Rhetorical appeals seen in this post include intrinsic ethos that is portrayed through the professional tone of the article and some scientific lingo that can be seen; extrinsic ethos from the article’s references to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Huawei Technologies, and others that add credibility; logos appeal that is showcased through the various facts, such as detailed information on this 5g project, that are presented by the post and article; and pathos appeal of excitement and anticipation that the post generates in the reader.
One of the cultural posts that JASWDC tweeted this week was about themed cafes in Japan. They included a link to an article that went into depth on this topic, introducing some specific “kawaii-themed cafes.” The purpose of this post is to inform the audience about an aspect of Japanese culture, kawaii-themed cafes, and also to encourage travel to Japan in order to visit these cafes. The intended audience are those who want to or are thinking about travelling to Japan because it is a touristy post that urges readers to travel to the cafes that are mentioned; another target group is those who generally interested in Japanese culture because the obsession of “kawaii” things is an influential aspect of the culture that many foreigners are attracted to. A famous example would be Hello Kitty, a well-known Japanese character that is loved by a global audience. Additionally, the tweet reads, “In a country where novelty is the norm and cuteness is king, these places stand out in more ways than one…” This is an attention-grabbing sentence because a country where “cuteness is king” sounds new and interesting to the reader. Also, the post insinuates that the article will highlight cafes that “stand out in more ways than one,” which again incites curiosity in the reader and compel them to read further. Furthermore, the article title mentions Gudetama and Moomin, two famous and popular characters that those who love Japanese culture may know. Thus, this post catches the eye of its target audience. The included image shows a Gudetama-themed cafe, and at first glance the cafe is aesthetically pleasing, a really cute location. Thus, the reader is interested and wants to click on the article to learn more about the cafe. The call to action is strong here, which is to urge people to read the article, since the article title, image, and the tweet itself all incite curiosity in the viewer.
In the article, one can find logos through the mentions of various cafes with extensive detail on where they are located, opening hours, a brief background on what the cafe is like, etc because these are factual information. There is also intrinsic ethos because the tone of the article is professional, which indicates to the reader that the article is a reliable source that knows what they are talking about. Extrinsic ethos is also visible through the references to internationally famous characters like Hello Kitty, which adds credibility to the cafes that are designed after them. Pathos is appealed because people like these cute characters, so they are more inclined to enjoy the article and feel positive sentiments.
This week, the South Korean Embassy shared a post about a Seattle restaurant that serves makgoli, which is traditional Korean alcohol. The purpose of this post was to inform the audience about how Korean alcohol is trending in Seattle, and also to let the readers know about this specific restaurant. The post is also encouraging the audience to try out this drink and have a Korean experience. The target group is those who are foodies because the post is introducing a new food/drink and also mentions the “foodie movement.” The post is also catering to those who live in/near Seattle because it is essentially advertising a specific Seattle restaurant, which urges the reader to actually visit the location. The Embassy is also targeting foreigners by sharing this post, foreigners who may not know Korean culture well because the post introduces makgoli; if they were well knowledgeable in Korean culture, they would already know what makgoli is. This post starts off with the mention of the foodie movement, which draws attention because it is a relevant topic to our modern culture. Next, the caption outlines how the owners of the restaurant discovered makgoli and liked it so much that they went to Korea in order to learn how to brew it. This fact raises anticipation and interest for makgoli because it makes readers curious about the drink that compelled these owners to travel all the way to Korea. Mentioning a specific detail such as the name of this Seattle restaurant suggests that the post is trying to advertise the place; the end of the post emphasizes how successful this restaurant is in their makgoli, indicating subtle advertising of the restaurant and urging readers to perhaps visit it. The title of the article that is linked to the post is “How One Man is Making an Obscure Korean Liquor Seattle’s Next Big Thing,” and the word choice here stimulate interest for the reader, which will in turn compel them to read further. Including “obscure Korean liquor” invites a mysterious, foreign sentiment that attracts one’s attention; stating that makgoli is “Seattle’s next big thing” implies that the drink must be very delicious, to the extent that it has become a big city’s favorite. This implication convinces readers to read the article, as well as encourages them to try out the drink. The picture in the post depicts a pot of makgoli being poured into a cup; this image attracts attention because the reader will not understand it without context, thus making them invest time into reading the post and possible the article as well. The call to action is to read the article and for those who can, to visit the restaurant. By creating expectations and anticipation for this restaurant, readers feel a strong urge to try out this new drink for themselves.
Facts about the restaurant and the owners, especially how they create makgoli (such as the temperature the liquid needs to be preserved for) appeal to logos because they are informative and logical. The utilization of food to create hype for the article is a pathos appeal; for example, the image is aesthetically pleasing, so readers associate positive feelings with makgoli and the post itself. Extrinsic ethos takes place in the fact that the owners went to Korea, the country of origin of makgoli, to learn how to brew it. This fact directs readers to think that the restaurant serves authentic makgoli because they brew it in a traditional fashion. The article has a professional tone and includes extensive facts about how the owners decided to incorporate makgoli into their restaurant, their process of brewing it, and more. These aspects legitimize the article and strengthens its credibility because it suggests that the article is conveying accurate information.
The South Korean Embassy definitely has the weakest social media campaign. The main cause of their weakness stems from the fact that they do not focus on the foreign audience, and consequently do not cater their content for this group. Thus, they are not effectively attracting the international audience as Xinhua News and JASWDC are. The Embassy mostly shares content, almost never writing their own posts, and do not include captions. Additionally, most the content is solely in Korean. For the posts that do have English translations, accessibility is difficult for the foreigner because the viewer must go to the original post to read the English. In other words, the English is not visible at first sight. For example, the Embassy shared a post about how experts from the Heritage Foundation had a meeting about Korean exporters in Trump’s administration. There is an English description in the post, but it is hard to read and in small font. These aspects make the post less appealing to foreigners even though it pertains to Trump’s administration, which is clearly a relevant subject to the foreign audience. If the Embassy adds a caption that emphasizes how things will look different under President Trump, or even outlining an opinion based on South Korean foreign policy, this post will become more interesting and relevant because a familiar subject matter will be emphasized to the foreign viewer, and the post will seem more accessible because the English would be visible at first sight.