by Hanouf Alharbi, Alisha Greene, Lisa Kang,

This is a common setback that we frequently hear from students, both current and prospective. For example, you may have a brilliant idea about raising awareness for sustainability at Chapman, but you don’t necessarily know how to craft an enticing message. Well, if this is you, don’t fret. There is a class that can help you – SCC 200 Message Design I. This is the prerequisite course to Message Design II and the course teaches you step-by-step how to apply theory and practice to the real world.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  •      Create profound and active messages for your target audience
  •      Analyze messages used by companies and organizations
  •      Design your own messaging campaign using theory and practice
  1.   Create profound and active messages for your target audience

Let’s go back to your idea of raising awareness of sustainability at Chapman. Let’s say you researched in-depth on sustainability before coming to college. You also worked on several projects that ignited your passion on the subject matter, and you need to tell everyone about it. However, every time you tried to tell your friends and families, they look bored or unamused. To solve your issue, a concept that you will learn in Message Design I is audience analysis. Before presenting your ideas, you need to know who you are talking to and how you are delivering your message. Audience analysis emphasizes on identifying your audience and crafting your messages according to their interests. It requires you to find out about the audience’s demographics, attitude, audience size, and knowledge on a topic. By using audience analysis, you can create a common ground and trust between you as the speaker and the audience. You can craft a message that you and your audience desire.

Finding out as much about your audience as you can will help your message be more successful!

  1.   Analyze messages used by companies and organizations

As you are in the message designing process, there may be times when you might feel stuck. Researching and analyzing messages used by other companies and organizations can help you. By doing so, you can observe different messaging techniques and apply them. While one company may use research-based messages, another may use fanciful and abstract language. Depending on which one you think would benefit you, your messages will be altered. Message designing is about creativity and observing what other companies have been doing can enhance your message designing skills!


  1.   Design your own message campaign using theory and practice

Using theories that are supported by research help make your messages stand out.

The best thing about this class is that, not only do you learn important concepts and the “how-to’s,” you have the opportunity to work on your own campaign. Your professor will give you a hands-on project in which you and your group can put the pieces together. When working on your campaign, you learn different theories such as health belief model, a theory of planned behavior, and social judgment theory. These theories focus on one’s attitude, belief and behavior change and help you realize that message designing is not just about communicating efficiently but also, it is about knowing how your audience will react to your messages.

Undoubtedly, Message Design I is the crux of the major since it teaches you how to craft, analyze and apply messages effectively and wisely. By learning different concepts and the process, you will be more confident next time you present your ideas. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to tackle hands-on projects that give you a sense of ownership and builds a strong foundation as you prepare for your next course.