Analyzing the Purpose of Public Communication

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Analyzing the Purpose of Public Communication

Instructions: In class, we discussed how public communication is used to achieve a specific purpose. For this activity, you will apply your knowledge about the different purposes of public communication to analyze the purpose of an email sent by E. Gordon Gee (the president of West Virginia University) to the WVU community in response to the Baylor riots in Fall 2014. Refer to class notes from Unit 1 (Introduction to Public Communication) to help you complete this activity.

Analyzing the Purpose of Public Communication

Visit http://slate.wvu.edu/themes/ur/email/president-2014-oct.html to read the email sent by E. Gordon Gee.

  • Identify which one of the three general purposes of public communication (to inform, to persuade, to entertain) that E. Gordon Gee uses in his email. Explain your answer using 3-5 pieces of evidence from the email.

The objective of this email was to communicate to colleagues, students and friends who are members of West Virginia University.  President Gee was expressing his dissatisfaction with the actions of some Mountaineers fans which  did not also go down well with all the people because of a big team being defeated. Through the email, President Gee asked all to stand up and help each other. In the email, President Gee invited all Mountaineers to say what they think could be the solutions to changing the culture of the university.  The solutions should be able to make everyone feel safe at the university.  He stated that the actions of some few students could adversely affect the name of the WVU as well as the future careers of the students. Finally, he finished by saying that the actions by a section of the fans was a criminal offence and the university could take legal action in future.

Analyzing the Purpose of Public Communication

  • Based on your answer to (1), identify E. Gordon Gee’s specific purpose (E. Gordon Gee was informing WVU community members about ____; E. Gordon Gee was persuading WVU community members to _____; or E. Gordon Gee was entertaining WVU community members by ____). Explain your answer using 3-5 pieces of evidence from the email.
  1. Gordon Gee was telling WVU fraternity to rise above the crisis and be helpful to each other. President Gee also pointed out that the university will help underage alcohol users to overcome addiction. The purpose of the email was also to inform every member of WVU that they will be held accountable for any actions that they do. WVU will not allow its name to be tarnished by a few people who do not know how to carry themselves. Gee also asked everyone to help police with investigation in order to fully understand what happened after the game and as such make the campus a safe place for all.

 

 

 

  • In 2-3 sentences, explain why it is important for an audience to be able to identify the purpose of a speech/email/essay/etc.

It is important for an audience to understand the purpose of an email, a speech or an essay because this will help the audience to grip the message  contained in the email, speech or essay.  By understanding the purpose of the email, speech or essay the audience will be able to take appropriate actions as asked in the email, speech or essay.