Importance of Purpose in Strategic Discourse
- Strategic discourse always has a purpose. It is a purpose that marks it
- In strategic discourse, purpose is the starting point for planning and understanding
- In strategic discourse, purpose is the measure of success. We ask whether
speaker's achieve the purpose that they adopt for their discourse.
Standard Purposes of Strategic Discourse
See Campbell and Huxman for full treatment
- Creating Experience
- Altering Perception
- Formulating Belief
- Initiating Action
- Maintaining Action
Interpreting Purpose in Public Communication
- In the message: Sometimes the speaker will tell you purpose. Treat
this statement skeptically, but it may in fact be the purpose.
- In the rhetorical situation: Analyze the rhetorical situation to
see the purpose the situation demands of the speaker
- Within a campaign: A particular message may be part of a larger campaign.
That campaign has a purpose, and the purpose of the specific message is determined
by its context in the campaign.
Complexities in Purpose
- Multiple Purposes: Most messages have more than one purpose.
Speakers may have different purposes with different target audiences. Speakers
may also have more than one purpose they wish to achieve with any given target
- Layered Purposes: Purpose often relates to complex situations.
Speakers may see some purposes as essential to achieving other purposes.
- Linkage to Publics. Purpose often is defined in the speaker's
relationship to particular publics. That is, purpose is often a function of
the rhetorical situation and the speaker's relationship to it.
- Explicit and Implicit Purpose. Always ask what the speaker
really intends. The speaker's explicit purpose may be only a facade for an
implicit and more important purpose.