Description By now, you all have done some research on the specific audience you want to reach you’re your RIP project (demographics and psychographics), as well as the context that will influence the significance of your message and the way your audience responds. However, understanding audience and choosing rhetorical strategies to reach that audience is not just a matter of who they are and what they care about. The next step is to consider your relationship to your audience. First, let’s consider different types of audiences. Different relationships have different kinds of tension that require different rhetorical strategies. Sympathetic audience: an audience that is familiar with your message and agrees with you. An important benefit or goal of addressing this kind of audience is to foster or strengthen social bonds as a motivator for action. However for the RIP, only addressing a sympathetic audience can often be boring and predictable. While part of your audience will undoubtedly agree with you, a better challenge is persuading an audience that you’re in some kind of tension with. If you’re trying to work with a sympathetic audience, consider what payoff you’re looking for in “preaching to the choir.” Novice audience: an audience that doesn’t know much about what you have to say, isn’t familiar with relevant background information, and may or may not have a lot of questions. A major rhetorical challenge with this kind of audience is conveying essential information (such that your message becomes persuasive), without overwhelming your audience with unnecessary details and stimulating interest and curiosity–this is much harder than it sounds! Critical (informed & skeptical) audience: an audience that understands your message and is familiar with the topic, relevant background information, and different opinions, but isn’t necessarily invested in what you have to say or is inclined to judgment. A major rhetorical challenge with this type of audience is building usefully on what your audience already knows and maintaining your credibility. Business/Activist audience: an audience that specifically wants to know how your message will affect them and/or the issues they care about. The stakes of this desire to know can vary widely: To buy/invest/produce, or not? To adopt a specific social/political/economic policy, or not? In most cases, they will likely be familiar with your message and its context, but sometimes not. This type of audience may overlap with the other types of audiences listed above. Hostile audience: an audience that has deeply entrenched views in opposition to your message and/or point of view. This type of audience is perhaps the hardest to reach, but potentially the most rewarding. Major rhetorical challenges include establishing trust and addressing and refuting counterarguments in a fair and balanced way. RIP Reflection (Freewrite): Reflect briefly on your RIP Draft #1, focusing on your current rhetorical strategies for reaching your intended audience(s). What primary audience are you trying to reach? Are there any secondary or unintended audiences? Describe these audiences (demographics, psychographics) in detail, drawing on your research. What is the source of tension between you and your audience(s)? In other words, what’s your relationship to each audience? Be as specific as possible about what factors contribute to your audience’s sympathy, inexperience, skepticism, and/or hostility. What strategies are you currently using to overcome the tension between yourself and your audience? Categorize these strategies as predominantly logos-, ethos-, or pathos-oriented (some of your rhetorical strategies may bridge these different categories—note which ones). Which strategies do you think are working right now? Why do you think so? Be specific. Which strategies are you worried are not working? Why do you think so? Be specific. Write down any additional questions you have for your group mates about your relationship with your audience in your project.