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Government's Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement

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In advertising, one of the important and critical part is dissemination of information through communication. Communication is about transmitting, receiving, and processing information between two parties. Therefore, information content of the advertisement is important to ensure the effectiveness of communication through advertising. This research's focus is towards finding and discussing information content strategy towards effective advertising. It will explore the strategy in disseminating effective content through print advertising especially in promoting government policies and initiatives by examining the factors related to the effectiveness. The internet and online has emerge to be one of the important medium for advertising, with the popularity of social media , it is no question the high expenditure of digital advertising compared to print advertising. However, print advertising is still considered an important medium by the advertiser. One way that is often used by the government is the use of advertising as a medium of communication in transferring information to the public, to create awareness and educate public on certain issues through a series of campaign. The government must response with the constant changing of the demands of the public's preferences to improve efficiency. The respondent involved was postgraduate students of research universities in Malaysia and newspaper advertisement is the main medium in this research. In this paper, it discussed the findings in factors related to the effectiveness of advertising information and to propose the improvement of government communication. Lastly, the researcher highlights the implications of this research to the society and future directions for future research.
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Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
13
Government’s Advertising Information Content
Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
Mardzuki Mazlan, Mohd Sazili Shahibi, Wan Ab. Kadir Wan Dollah
Faculty of Information Management
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
Selangor, Malaysia
Received Date: 13 April 2020
Publish Date: 27 July 2020 2020
Abstract. In advertising, one of the important and critical part is dissemination
of information through communication. Communication is about transmitting,
receiving, and processing information between two parties. Therefore, infor-
mation content of the advertisement is important to ensure the effectiveness of
communication through advertising. This research’s focus is towards finding
and discussing information content strategy towards effective advertising. It
will explore the strategy in disseminating effective content through print adver-
tising especially in promoting government policies and initiatives by examining
the factors related to the effectiveness. The internet and online has emerge to be
one of the important medium for advertising, with the popularity of social me-
dia, it is no question the high expenditure of digital advertising compared to
print advertising. However, print advertising is still considered an important
medium by the advertiser. One way that is often used by the government is the
use of advertising as a medium of communication in transferring information to
the public, to create awareness and educate public on certain issues through a
series of campaign. The government must response with the constant changing
of the demands of the public’s preferences to improve efficiency. The respond-
ent involved was postgraduate students of research universities in Malaysia and
newspaper advertisement is the main medium in this research. In this paper, it
discussed the findings in factors related to the effectiveness of advertising in-
formation and to propose the improvement of government communication.
Lastly, the researcher highlights the implications of this research to the society
and future directions for future research.
Keywords: Information Management, Information Dissemination, Information
Content, Newspaper Advertising, Government Communication and
Effective Communication
1 Introduction
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
14
The government often conduct outreach activities for public programs (Aizawa and
Kim, 2020) in attempt to communicate with public on various services, policies, initi-
atives and other public related matters. There are often questions on poorly informed
important attributes and vital information through government communication raised
by the public (McCoy, 2009; Anderson and Renault, 2006). This resulted to the lack
of awareness of the government initiatives benefits. Therefore it effects the efficiency
of government’s communication to the public. The public unable to understand the
importance and the objectives of those initiatives provided by the government and
also prevent the public to understand government policies and any issues surrounding
it. It is always been an issue with communication with the public and to be able to
communicate effectively. Osaimi and Alghowinem (2019) highlighted that although
some efforts have been done to improve communication, dissemination of govern-
ment’s information remain an issue because of the failure to reach out to audience. It
somehow in a way effects how the public face the challenge to raise their socio eco-
nomic status (Dhawan, 2009) because most of the initiatives and policies on the gov-
ernment’s products or services will eventually help the public to embrace the change
the challenge of global economy. Unlike consumer goods and business communica-
tion, government communication deals with sensitive issues that have the element of
public controversy, thus it involve high or low level of involvement (McCoy, 2009).
To ensure high involvement of the public towards government communication, the
use of persuasive tool as a medium to attract audience in communication with the
public. Although attention has been important to initiate initial audience engagement
and to attract audience, traditional media such as print advertisement has been strug-
gling for audience attention as competition, consolidation and social media change the
media landscape where it has been a major source of information (Yousuf, 2020).
According to Nelson (1974), Advertising has been a great tool to disseminate infor-
mation to the public and considered as type of communication. The government had
been using it to promote and to disseminate information on its initiatives (MAMPU,
2012). Advertising helps to spread out information on government product, services,
policies and programs (McCoy, 2009). Advertising advantages are the persuasive and
attractive manner because of its creative design and aesthetic values and elements. It
gives government communication a new edge in providing its audience vital infor-
mation. In this research, the term Advertising Information are widely used to refer to
the role of advertising to disseminate information. The study looks at the effectiveness
of government communication and dissemination of information by looking at the
content of print advertisement as previous studies shows that information content
relates to the effectiveness of advertising (Tellis, 2004). The objectives of the study
are first, to identify the factors related to the effectiveness of government communica-
tion through advertising by looking at its content. Next, to investigate how the factors
influence the effectiveness and lastly, to propose a model for effective government
communication to disseminate information. Newspaper is one of the main media in
Malaysia and it plays major roles in government communication. This proved by
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) increment of 3.7% from 2014 to 2019
which in this report, was the key growth within consumer spending. It shows that
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
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although it is traditional media, the newspaper still earn the public’s trust and confi-
dence. Consequently, advertising revenue for newspaper advertising remain dominant
of 55% of the total revenue of advertising in Malaysia which comprises of 4.0% in
advertising revenue growth in CAGR (Statista, 2015) and in 2018, newspaper adver-
tisement made up the largest share of advertisement spend in Malaysia at 31.6% while
total digital media advertisement spend came in second at 28.6% (Statista, 2019). The
study used Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) as the main theory. This paper com-
prises into several sections: literature review, hypotheses development, research
methodology, result and analysis and discussion and conclusion.
2 Literature Review
Advertising Information in Information Management
The meaning of Advertising is to promote and show something. According to Dyer
(1996), Advertising is the act of notifying or informing somebody of something by
drawing attention to something. The placement of announcements and persuasive
messages in time or space purchased in any of the mass media by business firms,
nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals who seek to inform
and/ or persuade members of a particular target market or audience about their prod-
ucts, services, organizations, or ideas (University, 2018). Advertising is also a com-
munication process where it is a structured type of communication by employing
verbal and nonverbal elements that are composed to fill specific space and time for-
mats (Arens et al, 2009) in an attractive way and meaningful manner. Advertising is
non personal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive
in nature about products or ideas by identified sponsors through various media (Arens
et al, 2009; Belch and Belch, 2011). Advertising involves cost as the advertisers has
to pay services provided by the media and usually it involves huge amount of money
a year for an advertising campaign. Television, radio, newspaper, magazine and the
internet as mass media transmit information through advertising to a large group of
audience and expecting feedback in a form of persuasion and attitude change after
being exposed in period of time. According to The Economic Times (2015), ‘Adver-
tising is a means of communication with the users of a product or service, advertise-
ments are messages paid for by those who send them and are intended to inform or
influence people wo receive them’. Persuasive nature of advertising enable it to pro-
vide excellent communication and information dissemination tool through its messag-
es. Therefore, advertising can be seen as an important tool to communicate and dis-
seminate information, but with certain cost. Thus the engagements of advertising can
be relate to the financial situation of organization. One of the important attribute of
advertising is the ability to draw attention of the audience whenever the audience
were exposed to the advertisement. This is because the characteristics of advertising
will lead into the persuasion of the audience. Although it has its advantages, the main
purpose of advertising is to provide information and must initiate high involvement
form the audience to engage in the process of persuasion by creating interest form the
audience through informative information (Clow and Baack, 2014). Figure 1 shows
the relations and the impact of advertising towards information.
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
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Figure 1. Advertising and Information Relationship.
In information management (IM) point of view, information is about resources and
commodity, focused on the services to organizations where providing access to in-
formation that they have (Kirk, 2005). While in public universities and colleges, the
academician teaches IM about information as resources through record management,
information as knowledge and how information is an asset and commodity to give
organizations advantages in the economy and market their venture into. The availabil-
ity of information in big volumes enable it to be studies into various field in infor-
mation management (IM), information technology (IT) and information communica-
tion technology (ICT) as well as integrated marketing communication (IMC) through
mass communication studies. Information has become easy to acquire, extract, dis-
seminate and manipulate (Davies, 1992) because of the availability of technology and
other tools. The consequence of the emergence is significant for research. It is a sig-
nificant part of the economy and the market where information is power (Wilson and
Maceviciute, 2005). For that reasons, information is becoming more significant over
the years in the economics of an organization and provide economic burst in organiza-
tion as well as country.
Government’s Dissemination of Information through Advertising
The challenge of today community and public in the new information society of
the 20th century is to raise their socioeconomic status (Dhawan, 2009). It force the
society to embrace the challenges of a global economy where it effects how the socie-
ty progress, stagnate or regress. Therefore, the dissemination of information through
government’s communication to keep up with high awareness of government initia-
tives to face the changes of the economic environment of the nation is very important
to individual in the society. The government’s initiate several programs, initiatives
and new policies to embrace the challenges of global economy. It requires high level
of awareness from the society to ensure the success of these efforts by the govern-
ment. However, this was not achieved and the efforts were far from the reach of the
public as a result of poor communication by the government. Poor dissemination of
information can result to lack of awareness in government’s campaign, promotion of
initiatives and new policies (McCoy, 2009). It prevent the society to be aware of ef-
forts by the government to help them to endure the difficulties of the new economy. It
will also prevent the society to be well informed and caused misinformation among
the public. For example, the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) vs
Sales and Services Tax (SST), there are so much confusion and lack of informed in-
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
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formation leads to the debate among politicians on both sides and also create discom-
fort among the public. At the end of the day, there were no certain answers to what
brings more benefit to the public. It shows poor communication and also poor dissem-
ination of information by the government. This will relate to how effective the gov-
ernment disseminates information and address the issue regarding the implementation
of GST vs SST. The public is totally dependent on information and communication
given by the government through available channel such as the internet, television,
radio, printed material such as newspaper and magazines, direct mail and outdoor,
using tools like information technology, advertising, announcement, seminars and
public relations. In conclusion, the public in majority does not know exactly how it
will benefit and how it will be implemented by the government parallel with the bene-
fits as claimed by the government (Hassan, 2014). Thus, robust information practice
especially in disseminating information is a critical factor in order to meet this lofty
standard (Wright, 2013) to inform them the progress made by the government on its
policies. Most of government communications use media such as television, radio,
internet, publication, outdoor and also direct communication. Since the emergence of
the Internet in the 90’s and new media newspaper shares the top spot of major adver-
tising medium. According to MAMPU (2012), although electronic media and social
media has been the highest of the total expenditure in advertising, print media specifi-
cally newspaper advertising conquers 64.4% of the Malaysia audience and newspaper
advertisement it is cheaper compared to electronic media advertisement. This makes
newspaper is one of the most valuable medium among advertisers (Belch and Belch,
2011). The role of newspaper traditionally is to deliver prompt, but detail coverage of
news and to disseminate information with features that appeal to the readers. News-
paper has sections that will give depth of coverage and enable advertiser options to
choose wider range of audience. There are different types of newspaper, daily news-
paper, weekly newspaper and national newspaper (Belch and Belch, 2011). Most of
main Malaysian newspapers fall into daily and national newspaper category, such as
New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, Nan Yang Siang Pau, Tamil
Nesan and others. Some of it also published weekly such as The Edge, Focus Malay-
sia and Utusan Melayu. Most weekly newspaper target regions based audience, for
example Selangor Kini which focuses on Selangor state population. There is also
special-audience newspaper which targeted business community and corporate pro-
fessionals such as The Edge. There are two types of advertisement in newspaper ad-
vertising, display and classified. This paper focuses mainly on display advertising as
it involves visual appeal unlike classified advertising.
Information Content and Visual Appeal of Advertising
Advertising is an effective tool of communication. Arrow and Stigler (1994) stated
that “Advertising is a powerful tool of competition. It provides valuable information
about products and services in an efficient and cost-effective manner" The importance
of information content of advertising is a major discussion in Advertising Research,
Advertising Information Research and Information Management Research. According
to Rogers (1995) advertisers should provide significant information so that the public
has reasons to make intelligent choices. It means the content of advertising is very
important from the public point of view. The information content of the message in
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
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advertisement is the most important influence in the success of advertising
(Korgaonkar et al, 1986). These includes providing meaningful information in term
of the usefulness, informativeness and the accuracy of the information inside the
advertisement (Oh and Xu, 2003; Blanco et al., 2010; Bovee, 2004). Advertising
involves a creation of visually enhanced elements in an advertisement that gives
advertising its distinct characteristics, features and objectives where its main purpose
is to attract and persuade an audience. The most interesting part of advertising is the
creative side (Belch and Belch, 2011). It creates attraction through visual appeal and
focuses more towards aesthetic and creative design elements (Negm and Tantawi,
2015). Visual appeal is the core element in advertising. As explained in previously in
this paper, there are relation between advertising and information. Therefore, there are
also direct relation between information content and visual appeal. Advertising
involves visually enhanced elements in an advertisement that gives advertising its
distinct characteristics, features and objectives where its main purpose is to attract and
persuade an audience. According to Weilbacher (1984), advertising appeal can be said
to form the underlying content of the advertisement, and the execution the way in
which that content is presented. Advertising appeals and executions are usually
independent to each other; that is, a particular appeal can be executed in a variety of
ways and a particular means of executions can be applied to a variety of advertising
appeal. The visual appeal elements of advertising comprises of layout, size,
typography, colour, picture and graphic. Both elements (Information Content and
Visual Appeal) in advertising influence the success of advertising information content
strategy, in this case, newspaper advertising.
Effectiveness through Persuasion in Advertising Information
The effectiveness of dissemination of information through advertising often
evaluated in different ways. Many different theories and approach applies (Turley and
Kelly, 1997) including measuring the relationship between the content and the
medium that they appear (Bogart, 1976). The effectiveness is to be measured to
formulate strategy of communication through advertising. As for advertising
information in particular to disseminate information through communication as used
by the government, the method of measurement to measure effectiveness is to
measure and study attitude change of the audience through persuasion. Persuasion is
triggered by the influence of visual appeal and information content of advertising.
These appeals influence emotion ad rational appeals to persuade an audience as part
of its strategy (Belch and Belch, 2011). Rational appeals is an informational appeals
emphasize facts, learning and logic of persuasion while emotional appeals often por-
trayed by visual relates to audience’s social or psychological needs. It is an important
dimensions in measuring the effectiveness through persuasion. This was based on
Elaboration Likelihood Model, developed by Richard E. Petty and John T. Cacioppo
(1986) by incorporating central and peripheral route to encourage and stimulate atti-
tude change towards the content. As advertising effectiveness can be assessed through
inputs, mental process and outcomes (Vakratasas and Ambler, 1999; Tellis, 2004), it
can be relate to the model by applying independent variables as an input which
stimulate the mental process of the receiver and later it influence the outcome as
dependent variables. It represented by the level of attention from the audience (Holder
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
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and Treno, 1997; Fuertes- Olivera et. al, 2001; Cramphorn, 2009; Lucas and Britt,
2012) via the characteristics of advertising which is the attractiveness of well
executed advertisement and the outcomes, interest (Homer, 1990; Lucas and Britt,
2012) and intention (Walgren et al. 1995; Hoon and Low, 2000; Wang et. al, 2002;
Lucas and Britt, 2012).
3 Hypothesis Development
The Relationship between Advertisement Layout and Effectiveness.
This part of the study explains the relationship between layout of the advertisement
and the effectiveness of advertising information content. Pettersson (2010) suggests
that layout of advertisement is significantly correlated with the effectiveness of
advertising information content as the more organized the layout, the more effective
the effectiveness. Pettersson (2010) stated that highly organized layout will help to
highlight relevant information inside the body of advertisement as it provide more
manageable structure of its contents. A layout is an overall orderly arrangement of an
advertisement and helps the advertisers and audience general look of the
advertisement (Lipton, 2007 and Arens et al, 2009). Thus, it will help an orderly
arrangement of the content of advertising and enables the advertisers to get a better
view of advertisement generally increasing the effectiveness of the advertisement.
Based on the findings, studies have established that layout is a factor and correlated
with the effectiveness of advertising information content. Inside layout there are few
sub elements, headlines, subhead, body copy, slogan, seal, logo and signature. It helps
the advertisers to develop psychological elements; nonverbal and graphic component
(Arens et al, 2009). This will give advertisement a proper and well organized look
that will provide positive psychological advantages where it gives all the elements
inside advertisement a clean uncluttered look. Planning the execution of advertising is
crucial when considering its layout as it is the fundamental in designing an
advertisement, it provides a clear picture on the use of other visual elements and the
positioning the elements, the way they fit together in the advertisement. The
following hypothesis statement therefore was developed:
Hypotheses 1: Content presentation and layout positively associated with the
effectiveness of newspaper advertising.
The Relationship between Advertisement Size and Effectiveness.
Size of the advertisement is an important factor in complementing the effectiveness
of advertising information content. According to Pattersson and Richards (2000) and
Hanssens and Weitz (1980), the size of newspaper advertisement has significant
positive impact on the effectiveness of advertisement and related more towards
favourable product or service and their perceptions. The study indicates that high
favourability and good perception will increase as size of the advertisement increases.
Although the size of the advertisement may get the attention of the audience, it does
not help much in getting the influence of the audience to engage in getting the product
or service (Rashmi, 2013). According to Smit et al. (2013), big sized newspaper
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
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advertisement gets more attention from the audience than the small newspaper
advertisement. It shows that audience becomes aware of the advertised subjects as it
creates optical advantages over the small advertisement as human nature to attract
more towards something that eye-catching. More relevant and related information as
content encourage audience to read more on the advertisement (Smith and Yang,
2004). Size has been an influencing factor in creating a good advertisement based on
research from marketing point of view and also research conducted to examine what
effects it does to get the attention of the audience thus creates effective advertising as
medium to disseminate information. This consistent with previous study by Lucas and
Britt (2012) where size of newspaper advertisement indicates the importance of
reading content. Big and prominent size advertisement will highlight the importance
of the content that need to be shown to the public. Therefore, size positively correlates
with the effectiveness with significantly large coefficient. It indicates that size does
give an impact on the effectiveness where it directly correlates with the effectiveness
of advertising information content. The following hypothesis was developed:
Hypotheses 2: Large sized newspaper advertisement will have greater impact on
the efficiency of advertising content than small size newspaper advertisement to
promote government initiatives by getting it prominently noticeable to the audience.
The Relationship between Advertisement Text and Effectiveness.
Text or typography is often related to the legibility and readability of the
information content determine by the technical design of words and texts (Pettersson,
2010) which affects the effectiveness of advertising directly (Nakilcioğlu, 2013). The
authors stated that legibility and readability effects significantly to the effectiveness of
advertising in disseminating information for print advertising. It provides prove that
text or typography provide an essential effect in predicting effectiveness. This is also
consistent with findings from McCarthy and Mothersbaugh (2002) where highly
interactive effect of typographic effects influences the reading ability of the audience
thus directly correlated and positively related to the effectiveness. Another findings
by Stone (2005), basic setting of typographic inside advertisement creates visual
attraction that will definitely increase reading capability resulting the positive relating
to the effectiveness of advertising. The use of typographic although can attractive, it
also needs to be precise and clear in order to enhance the effectiveness of the
advertisement. It supports the study on typographic elements in ensuring the ability to
make its content legible and readable in order to make advertisement effective. Thus
concluding the effect of text and typography correlation with the effectiveness of
advertising information content. According to Zhu (2013), there is a direct and
definite relationship exists between typography and advertisement thus affecting its
effectiveness. The relationship exists because of the basic purpose of text and
typography to deliver meaning to information. Although the purpose of text and
typography appears to be simple and basic, the way advertisers or designers make it
more appealing by using bold, enlarged coloured and highlighted text and typography
is also often practiced as audience are attracted to the visual aspect of the
advertisement (Bohn, 2001). The position of the text used in the advertisement can
influence the attention of the audience, whether it is on top or bottom of the
advertisement and high contrast typography that matched the background of the
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
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advertisement can serve the same purpose, whether bold, enlarged and high contrast
colour (Zhu, 2013). The importance of typography in print advertisement is regarded
as the basic rule of getting the information content across the target audience. Text or
typography represents the message and how well the information getting through the
medium depends on the use of well-balanced arrangement of fonts, spacing and
proportion, thus makes it easy for audience to retrieve important information through
the advertisement. This shows that no matter how the advertiser use the element of
text and typography as design for appeal, it did not sway from the point of the relation
of text towards the effectiveness. It can be confirmed that the importance of
typography against the effectiveness and the correlation shows significantly influence
information content. The following hypothesis statement therefore was developed:
Hypotheses 3: Text positively influence the efficiency of advertising content
through visual appeal.
The Relationship between Advertisement Colour and Effectiveness
The research on colour of advertising has also placed much emphasize on the
attractiveness of the usage of colours in advertisement and how it can influence
information content and related to the effectiveness of advertising. A studies by
Sparkman and Austin (1980), Smith and Yang (2004), Rashmi (2013) and Smit et al.
(2013) suggest that colour gets the advertisement more attention and get noticed
more. Different characteristics of colours in advertisement provide realistic and
appealing portrayal of the product or service and provide appropriate feelings that
would trigger cognitive activities and coloured advertisement creates more attention
compared to black and white advertisement as part of information content creative
design. Another study by Gorn et al. (1997) suggest that colour with high intensity
and contrast influence change of attitude towards advertising. Through the intensity
and high saturation of the colours, it shows that colour is related to the effectiveness
of advertising. Singh (2006) indicates that the use of colours influence and enhance
the effectiveness compared to non-coloured newspaper advertisement. Colour give
enhancement in establishing aesthetics of the newspaper advertisement so as to catch
the attention of the audience and according to Robert (2013). Based on the studies,
coloured and high intensity coloured advertisement provide attentive characteristics
and high aesthetic value which will directly influence the effectiveness of advertising
information content. Comparing coloured and non- coloured advertisement, coloured
advertisement directly relates to the effectiveness. These findings indicate that colour
does give an impact on the effectiveness where it directly correlates with the
effectiveness of advertising information content. The following hypothesis was
developed:
Hypotheses 4: Colours significantly associate with the effectiveness of newspaper
advertising through visual appeal by getting the advertisement noticed.
The Relationship between Picture Usage and Effectiveness.
Based on literature reviews, picture or photo plays major influence to the
effectiveness of advertising information content. A study by Cutler et al, (1992)
indicates that the use of photographs and pictures in advertisement will increase the
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
22
effectiveness. It further explain by Blanco et al. (2010) that picture and photo will
provide help to explain the textual information about a product or service related to it
and makes it easier for audience to remember and enhance information processing. By
giving more information through the portrayal of picture, it helps audiences to get
connected with the subject inside the content of advertising. Picture of political,
business and industry figures can influence the efficiency of the advertisement
(Robinson, 2010). The use of political leader’s photographs is extensive in
advertisements, especially an advertisement related to government policy or
initiatives is to portray the leader’s efforts in the contributions of the nation’s growths
in the eyes of the public as supported by Robinson (2010). It is also consistent with
findings by Negm and Tantawi, (2015) that imagery or picture has an important role
to play in advertising effectiveness by improving understanding and can stimulate
various feelings and outlooks. This is also echoed by Ibikunle and Omotayo (2016) in
their study that image and picture capture the attention of the audience when the
image or picture convey meaningful information. The arguments above provide prove
that the importance of picture and photo related to the information content in the
effectiveness of advertising. Apart from providing information about the subjects of
services and products, it also contributed to the credibility, attractiveness and power
(Kelman, 1961), thus suggesting the direct correlation with the effectiveness of
advertising information content. Therefore, this further proves that parallel with
previous research, that the effectiveness correlates largely significant with the use of
picture or imagery in advertisements. Based on the literature, the following hypothesis
was developed for the study:
Hypotheses 5: Newspaper advertisements that include related visual of the
initiatives in a form of photo or picture will be more effective.
The Relationship between Advertisement Graphic and Effectiveness.
Researchers have reported that graphics played an important role in influencing the
information content in the effectiveness of advertising. This was consistent with
findings by Dur (2014) where graphics in a form of infographic and data visualisation
that works as a tool that present information systematically which produce persuasion
that eventually influence the effectiveness. Although there were not many studies of
the correlation between graphic and the effectiveness of advertising information
content, studies on graphic impact on advertising wholly were significant as most
advertising design strategies, development of an advertising campaign and creative
strategy is largely relying on graphics with the combination of other elements
discussed earlier in this chapter that will formulate a great appeal in the effectiveness
of advertising information content. This statement was supported by Belch and Belch
(2011) where graphics play important roles in the effectiveness of advertising. A
study conducted by Lohse and Rosen (2001) and Sisodia and Chowdhary (2013)
graphic amplifies the message content inside advertisement and greatly affect
audience interprets the message and create more positive and favourable attitude
towards the advertisement. It explains how graphic influence effectiveness and what
characteristics of graphic that effected effectiveness. It influenced audience through
persuasion by changing attitudes, enabling positive cognitive processing towards the
content of the advertisement and relate anything inside the content with pleasing and
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
23
alluring sentiment. Hence, the use of graphic and illustration can create an attractive
advertisement; create interest first by getting audience attention to the information
content in the advertisement. A study by Newspaper Association America (NAA) in
2014 shows that up to 50% or more of the advertisement space, increase readership,
which create interest and increases the effectiveness by as much as 37% showed by
advertisement with graphic and illustration. It further proved that the importance of
graphic and the relation between graphic and effectiveness. Conversely, inappropriate
use of design elements can frustrate and confuse the user and deleting and keeping
only crucial to the presentation of the information will improve the effectiveness
(Nicotera, 1999). It caused the audience to feel irritated and people won’t even look at
the advertisement and inserting too much graphic and illustration will prevent
effectiveness. The studies presented shows that there is an important roles perceived
by graphics and illustration in the effectiveness of advertising information content,
therefore this hypothesis was developed:
Hypotheses 6: Newspaper advertisements with attractive graphics will
significantly associate will the effectiveness of advertising through visual appeal by
getting the attention from readers.
The Relationship between Information Accuracy and Effectiveness.
Research in information accuracy has provided evidence that accuracy of
information is an important factor of the effectiveness. The findings were consistent
with Celsi and Gilly (2009) in which in their findings indicates that accuracy
correlates directly with the effectiveness where accuracy increases effectiveness.
Accuracy is one of the factors that influence audience interest on advertising
information content. It is regarded as important as it was shown that most of the
government policies, initiatives, and benefits were largely communicated to the public
through advertisement, specifically newspaper advertisement as stated earlier in this
chapter. According to Bovee (2004), the accuracy of information is used to measure
the effectiveness of advertising information content and it is also represents the
integrity of the advertisers. It is also supported by Churchman and Ratoosh (1959), in
their findings that the accuracy is a measurement of the quality of information and it
indicates the effectiveness of advertising information content and it is highly relative.
In government agencies, the accuracy of information is crucial as it brings positive
impressions to the authority. It is also highlighted by Pettersson (2010) that data and
facts must be correct and relevant to the situation. Inaccuracy of government
information will definitely forecast bad image of the government in the eyes of the
public and jeopardize dissemination of information. Inaccuracy can bring serious
impact on the efficiency of the government where it may lead to citizen making
inappropriate decisions (Fernandes and Longbottom, 2010). Accuracy correlates with
effectiveness with medium significance which is also consistent with the previous
findings in previous research. Another findings by Ellman and Germano (2009) that
suggests advertising is significantly correlated with the accuracy where, when the
advertising is sufficiently large, the accuracy increase and vice versa. This proved that
accuracy correlates significantly with the effectiveness of advertising information
content. The hypothesis developed based on the literature is:
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
24
Hypotheses 7: Information accuracy information content positively associated to
the effectiveness of newspaper advertising content by providing facts information and
minimizes forecast information.
The Relationship between Content Informativeness and Effectiveness.
The research on the informativeness of advertising content often related to the
characteristics of imperfect consumer information which results to the poorly
informed of the attributes and the existence of the services or product. This is because
the lack of significant information content of advertising (Rodgers, 1995) and lack of
informative content. Informativeness is measured by objectively evaluating the
content of information in advertisement (Harmon et. al, 1983). In this case the
evaluation was done by the audience as explained in chapter 4 and it correlated
directly to the effectiveness of advertising information content. Meaning,
informativeness positively correlated with effectiveness. A study conducted by
Blanco et al. (2010), informativeness is important to the effectiveness of advertising
and it shows a direct influence to the public’s perceptions of the organization’s
advertised product or services. Early study by Liefeld and Muller (1990) found that
informative executions steered thoughts towards the message thus the audience will
be more focus towards the content of the advertisement enabling increased
effectiveness. Another study conducted by Bansal and Gupta (2014), where
advertisement with informational content were found to influence more audience than
advertisements with less informational content and by Mahmoud (2014), information
motivation positively influences audience’s attitude towards advertising. It proves that
the correlation has a strong relationship and thus consistent with study by previous
researcher in this section where informational content correlates positively with the
effectiveness of advertising. It correlates significantly with a large significant level
indicating the correlation is strong. Therefore, this hypothesis was developed for this
dimension:
Hypotheses 8: Informativeness of advertisement positively relates to the
effectiveness of advertising information content by providing complete and relevant
information on initiatives and policies.
The Relationship between Usefulness of Information and Effectiveness.
Another attribute of information quality is the usefulness of the information
towards the audience. Without useful information, advertisement is just another
annoying yet attractive piece of material in any type of medium. Study shows that the
correlation between the variables indicating the correlation is significant. The finding
was consistent with findings by Zeng et al. (2009), Mir and Rehman (2013) and Mas
et al. (2014), which indicates that usefulness has a positive correlations and influence
effectiveness of advertising information content. Usefulness of information influences
the attitude change of the audience by exerting positive impact on the attraction of the
intention of the audience (Bleier and Eisenbeiss, 2015). Perception of usefulness
explain the degree of overall liking and disliking of advertising and is a crucial
success in measuring advertising effectiveness (Shavitt et. al, 1998). The information
content must be useful to the audience to create positive impacts towards the
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
25
effectiveness. With useful information, the audience will develop interest towards
advertising improving dissemination of information. Limited spaces in newspaper
advertising would not allow the placement of useless information. These findings also
show that the correlation between usefulness and effectiveness and it correlates
significantly with a large significant level indicating the correlation is strong.
Therefore, the hypothesis for this dimension is:
Hypotheses 9: Usefulness of information content associated to the effectiveness of
newspaper advertising content by providing useful information in the content.
4 Research Methodology
Quantitative Research Methods
A quantitative approach was implemented and the research starts from theory,
collects data and established evidence thus validating the theory through confirmatory
research. The research focused on both secondary and primary data. For the
secondary data, thorough reviews were done and for the primary data, questionnaires
were used. All necessary precaution was taken to avoid non- responding of the survey
by conducting both manual distribution and also online distribution.
Sampling Methods
The selection of samples is a process of selecting a respondent that will represent
the larger population, thus sample is a subset of the population. Sample is a limited
number of respondents taken from a large group for testing and analysis on the
assumption that the sample can be taken as representative of the whole group (Crouch
and Housden, 2003). The study has employed non-probability sampling technique and
the method chosen was convenience sampling. This is where the elements in the pop-
ulation do not have probabilities and it is unknown. Non-probability sampling was
widely used in market research previously (Zikmund et al, 2010) and this nature of
research was closed to market research and it is social science research where the
effectiveness is the main elements of this research. Convenience sampling has a small
relative cost and time required to carry out the survey as it was the most suitable
method that can be applied to this research. About 400 respondents were targeted with
130 for the pilot test. Targeted respondents were from public universities in Klang
Valley where they are 4 main public universities were selected (Universiti Malaya,
Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi
MARA). There is 413 sample draw out from the population of 4130 which consist of
postgraduate students from Social Science, Communication and Media, Information
Management and Computer Science mainly in Social Science and Information Tech-
nology background which represent the whole population of graduate students in
Malaysia.
Data Collection
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
26
Data collection was conducted phase by phase where the distribution of the ques-
tionnaire was done in all five faculties in each university. Although it was difficult to
conduct a survey session as there are different groups in each postgraduate program.
Most of the students are in part time mode and others in flexible learning where they
do not require to attend classes like full timers do. Therefore, at first, physical ques-
tionnaires were distributed through program coordinators, program administrators and
administration staff in certain faculties and universities and those in part time mode
were given link to the questionnaire by the staff through email. The electronic ques-
tionnaire was developed using Google Forms, an internet application that is available
on Google Drive. There were three public universities where the survey was conduct-
ed and the total of 374 returned back the respond through Google Drive application
and also manual.
5 Result and Analysis
Demographic of Participants
Data was obtained and collected from 416 postgraduate students enrolled mostly in
Information Management and Mass Communication course in their respective
universities, mainly research universities in Malaysia with the population of 4130
students. The demographic of the respondents were indicated in Table 4.3. The
pattern of the demographic indicates that the majority of the respondents were Malay
ethnic which covers 85.8% of the total respondents, the Chinese covers 6.5%, Indian,
4.1%, while the rest of it includes natives ethnic and also foreigners from other
countries which represents 3.6% of the total respondents. The majority of the students
taking postgraduate studies in major universities is still the Malays as it covers the
majority of the Malaysia population. Approximately, 41.8% were from 31-40 years of
age, which represent the biggest group of age. It shows that most of the students are
from this group as most of them pursue postgraduate study while working in various
industries in the country and also as part of the requirement to hold a higher post in
their respective organizations especially those in public service (Bernama, 2014).
Group of 20-30 comes second with 39.4% of the respondents. This group consist of
students enrolled directly after they have finished their degree program. The third and
last group is 40 and above which consist of 18.8% of the respondents. The population
for this study in the beginning was postgraduate students from research universities in
the Klang Valley and most of the education level of the respondents were Masters
(82%) and PhD (18%).
Confirmatory Factor Analysis.
Final measurement model CFA results after modification by observing Modifica-
tion Indices (MI) indicate that the chi- square (χ²) is 1202.469 and relative chi- square
(χ²/df) is 2.962 and with p value of .000 and degree of freedom of 406. The GFI re-
sults of the model is .830 which shows an acceptable fit. CFI shows the result of .912
with indicates a good fit. The TLI reading shows .893, indicating acceptable fit and
NFI shows the value of .875 indicating acceptable fit. Lastly the RMSEA shows .069
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
27
as a result indicating good fit. Based on the final measurement model, there are many
items were deleted to improve the goodness- of- fit of the data where it produces high
Modification Indices (MI) where it suggest redundancy of the items (Awang, 2012).
This is consistent with the suggestion by Pallant (2011) that there might be a redun-
dancy with the factor as stated early in this chapter regarding the communalities value
of the factor if the value exceeds 0.8. Usefulness need to be retained as one of the
factors as it is regarded as an important construct to be used in structural model as
removing items and construct of usefulness only improving modification indices in
small values and not significant.
The Effectiveness of
Advertising Information
Content
Advertisement Size
Information Content Accuracy
H2*** (.210, 3.596)
H7* (.118, 2.532)
Advertisement Colour
Picture Usage
Advertisement Graphic
Advertisement Text
Content Informativeness
Advertisement Layout
H1*** (.228, 4.318)
H3*** (.154, 3.956)
H4 (-.009, -.238)
H5** (.141, 2.829)
H6** (.169, 3.205)
H8** (.197, 3.259)
Usefulness of Information
H9** (.216, 2.965)
Figure 2. Path Analysis Results
This recommendation and discussion are the comparisons of our case study that de-
liberate about adapting knowledge workers using KMS in organizations.
Hypothesis Testing
It was found that all the estimates unchanged thus validating the measurement
model. The structural model fit shows that chi- square (χ²) of the measurement model
is 1202.469 and relative chi- square (χ²/df) is 2.962 and with p value of .000 and de-
gree of freedom of 406. The GFI results of the model is .830 which shows an ac-
ceptable fit. CFI shows the result of .912 with indicates a good fit. The TLI reading
shows .893, indicating acceptable fit and NFI shows the value of .875 indicating an
acceptable fit. Lastly the RMSEA shows .069 as a result indicating a good fit. This
indicates that the structural model was a good fit. Figure 2 shows the SEM path anal-
ysis. The coefficient value (R²) of this research model is 0.834 and the proportion of
variance that was explained by the exogenous constructs in the theoretical model.
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
28
Specifically, the total variance in the effectiveness of advertising information content
explained by its constructs is 83.4% in the final model. To sum the hypotheses testing,
out of nine hypothesized relation, eight were found to be significantly supported.
Hypotheses 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 indicate significant level of 0.05 and the critical
ratio need to be greater than 1.96 (Byrne, 2010). However, only one hypothesis which
is H4 shows values of -.009 for regression weight and -.238 for t- value or critical
ratio respectively which was not significant at the 0.05 level. Therefore, all hypothe-
ses except Hypotheses 4 were supported based on hypotheses testing and the sum-
mary of the test is shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Summary of the Tests of Hypothesized Relationships.
Hypotheses Statements
Findings
H1: Content presentation and layout positively
associate with the effectiveness.
Supported
H2: Large sized advertisement will have greater
impact on the efficiency of advertising content than
small size advertisement.
Supported
H3: Attractive and readable text positively
influence the efficiency and effectiveness of
advertising content.
Supported
H4: High contrast attractive colours significantly
associate with the effectiveness of newspaper
advertising.
Not
Supported
H5: Advertisements that include related visual of
the initiatives in a form of photos or pictures will be
more effective compared with no visual.
Supported
H6: Advertisements with attractive graphics will
significantly associate will the effectiveness of
advertising through visual appeal by getting the
attention from readers.
Supported
H7: Information accuracy information content
positively associated to the effectiveness.
Supported
H8: Informativeness of advertisement positively
relates to the effectiveness of advertising information
content.
Supported
H9: Usefulness of information content associated
to the effectiveness of newspaper advertising content
by providing useful information in the content.
Supported
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
29
6 Conclusion
The use of newspaper advertisement to communicate is often an option by the gov-
ernment. They see a newspaper advertisement as an effective and efficient medium in
providing information to the public. This study provides findings which all the factors
significantly correlated with visual appeal and information quality of the content
which also defines the effectiveness. The government should improve communication
by focusing more on the content of advertising. In this research, the results obtained
were accordance with the research questions and it shows the current environment of
advertising information in Malaysia together with the generalized understanding of
Malaysia’s audience of advertising information on the concept of advertising infor-
mation content. Advertising information should be more effective if these guidelines
as shown in Figure 3 are being considered. Implementing the suggested improvement
will not only provide and instant solution in public awareness about also will create
long term solution of a series of government communication problems. This will re-
flect a new role and function of public servants to grasp the guideline to be imple-
mented in each of their agencies. The implementation of the guidelines and model of
the effectiveness of advertising information content should prevent the problem as
stated in the beginning of the research as comprehensive findings provide proof of the
significance of the factors in providing solutions. To add to the suggestion in improv-
ing government’s communication through the effectiveness of advertising information
content is that the recommendation of this model to be implemented in all depart-
ments in the government sector and to establish a group of personnel that take control
of the implementation that will eventually master the concept of effective government
communication. These personnel must be an expert in advertising information and
information management fields, thus will create consistent communication and dis-
semination of information solution pattern that will improved communication. Effec-
tiveness of advertising has been strong interest from advertisers and also government
agencies as it was considered a measure of a good government communication and
government information dissemination. It is also an interest for consumer researcher
and marketing researcher as it was measured based on attitude change, ROI and sales.
This model is based on the responses of the audience towards advertisements that
depends on the change of audience attitude considering cognition, message processing
and persuasion. The guidelines suggest that layout of advertisement, size of adver-
tisement, text used in advertisement, picture and photo usage, graphic, information
accuracy, usefulness of information and informativeness were significant factors in
determining the effectiveness of advertising information content. However, although
in the beginning based on previous research there was a correlation between colour
and effectiveness of advertising information, but it seems not significant. It shows by
various findings by other researchers with conflicting findings. By considering Ma-
laysian context, in researcher’s opinion, it is because of multicultural background of
the Malaysian’s audience. A study by Tong and Robertson (2008) and Singh (2006)
suggested that colour may affect the cultural value. Red is commonly associated with
the Chinese while green often associated with Malays. This could explain the insignif-
icant results of H4. As highlighted by Thai and Chan (2001) there were significant
differences with information content advertising between western and eastern culture.
The studies related to the influence of colour to the effectiveness may have been con-
Government’s Advertising Information Content Strategy in Newspaper Print Advertisement
30
ducted separately because of the complexity of the subject. Although it suggests an
improvement towards the preparation of information content, holistically, it needs to
consider a different angle of effectiveness other than information content such as the
used of other medium and its strategies and also other elements of promotions such as
direct selling, public relations, interactive and internet marketing and personal selling.
Those elements also have the abilities to disseminate information and it may need to
be addressed in other research in the future. Lastly, there are a few dimensions that
the future study would consider as the main factor for example culture factor, medium
and channel factor, target audience and media planning factor. Additional research is
needed to extend our understanding of the constructs used in this study by studying
other dimensions that can be compared results between dimensions of studies.
Figure 3. Proposed Guideline for an Effective Advertising Information Content for
Newspaper Advertisement
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (JIKM) Volume 10 Number 2 (2020)
31
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