Home NZ Politics Do You Trust Public Service Announcements?

Do You Trust Public Service Announcements?




How effective are public service announcements?

In my experience, not very effective at all. There are exceptions, of course, but if there’s a way to stuff something, you can bet the public service will find a way to do it.

The ministry of health is a case in point. Public announcements warning of the dangers of corona virus are now a daily occurrence. While the person doing the talking is credible, the problem is he is presenting the face of the most corrupt, lying government in our history.

When you see the PM talking about a major problem, she has no credibility. Being told so many lies in the past two years, makes it hard to believe she is now telling the truth. Now is the time we should believe these announcements. The trouble is that they live in fear of being being accused of giving insufficient warning so they send out messages like, “there is a new outbreak in the south, but it is contained”, or “The affected person is in self isolation and is being monitored”.

Sounds like a worthwhile warning but there’s such a huge element of cover-your-arse in such messages that they have no value and, indeed, can cause panic.

However most people ignore messages which conflict with their world views, which cause them cognitive dissonance, or which come from people who they don’t like or respect, even when those messages are correct. Although the public service announcements are aimed at them, they ignore them in favour of narratives which support their outlooks, which make them feel comfortable, and which come from people who they admire. With access to the internet and other information, it’s hard to not make up your own mind and ignore these public officials.

So public service announcements, which are not crafted by a major ad agencies (spin) and which not blatantly manipulative, are probably going to fail. Many of us are willing to do whatever we want, even if it harms ourselves and others, just because we don’t want to be told how to live our lives.


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  1. I have listened to the Director General of Health and have felt a good level of confidence in his expressed views.

    Not so with the PM. Have now heard too much political spin post Christchurch and that gets in the way of now having belief and acceptance of her statements.

    My general feeling is the politicians are consistently mindful of re-election and that gets in the way of hard reality. I accordingly filter and critically evaluate what I hear from them or agents speaking on their behalf.



  2. My general view is that SLG is too dull-witted to fully comprehend her state briefings and the consequence of that is everything that falls out of her mouth is spin, spin, spin.
    Do I trust her announcements? Not on your life.

    Do I think the health boffins have this under control?
    What possible evidence is there that health service management in NZ is competent on a good day?
    Last years flu vax season case in point. They under-estimated the number of shots required and further complicated the matter by executing an ad campaign which -to their astonishment – resulted in increased demand. Who knew? And who was being paid royally to know but didn’t?
    More importantly, are the same people running the Wuhan Flu Show?

    Has public advice and announcements been ahead of the game? Nah.
    Has screening been implemented promptly at the borders? Nah.
    Has there been thorough testing of people presenting with symptoms? Nah.
    Trust? Nah



  3. There’s an adage along the lines of: “A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.”

    Hugzilla, given that she had a moral & religious upbringing, should know what a lie is. She is either too thick or too arrogant to realise that she has no credibility left & only the terminally gullible believe a word she utters.



  4. We just have to note last years poor handling of Measles (thought that was eradicated ?) last year to understand there is intellectual laziness and political expediency over-riding pragmatism .

    When ‘the shit coming out of the walls at Middlemore’
    was repeated again a few weeks ago in election year you know the misinformation is turned up to ‘hyper’ setting.

    People voted for ‘yoof parliament’ and got it.
    This is the result.
    Reaction level of a 15 year old.
    ‘I can express my opinion without any responsibility’



  5. Flu vax on order.
    This year’s delivery 1 April.

    When I suggested to the receptionist at my local medical centre that was a little pedestrian,
    she defensively said that it was the same as last year.
    That is my point.

    Last year delivery was late and flu season was well underway before the vaccines got here.
    Then there were insufficient vax clinics to meet demand.
    Ideally the population should be vaccinated in February.

    Note: These vaccines will not cover the Wuhan Special.



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