What is a “Call to Action?”

by | Apr 23, 2022 | Other

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What is a “Call to Action?”
A call-to-action underscores the action(s) a target audience might take upon watching/reading a given document. If you’re familiar with The John Oliver Show, you’ll know that John Oliver is great at ending nearly every episode with a clear, call-to-action. In fact, many episodes of The John Oliver Show function as a sort of report, not so different from the feasibility reports you’re putting together now. Oliver begins each show by introducing a problem, providing background information, identifying its cause(s), and communicating with the impacted population. He ends each show by calling his audience to take action. Despite its unprofessional tone, the show presents great examples of clear and logical argumentation/communication. Another lesson we can take from the show is the placement of the call-to-action; it always functions as a conclusion.
The goal of a call-to-action is to give your target audience a means of engaging with the problem you’ve identified. For Project 4, your call-to-action should come immediately after you’ve introduced and analyzed the feasibility of your three solutions. The call-to-action, then, is an opportunity for you to sum everything up and provide your audience with an overview of when and how they might go about actually doing something about the problem you’ve introduced. It’s also a chance for you to remind your audience what might happen should they choose not to take action.
Individual Exercise
Use your critical thinking skills and secondary research to answer the following questions:
Review the three solutions you’ve introduced and analyzed. What unanswered questions might your audience still have about these three solutions?
What else might your audience need in order to choose one of the three solutions you’ve outlined?
Is there any research that demonstrates that your potential solutions cannot be realistically implemented? (Consider timeframe, resources, etc.)
What might your audience need in order to implement a solution? (Is there anything they don’t have—time, resources, etc.—that might hinder them from getting involved?
Once you have answered each question, compare your answers with those of your team members and compose a paragraph that summarizes everyone’s ideas. This paragraph will function as a draft of your call-to-action.

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