COMM 339 -- Persuasion

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Message Design Organization


    Individual messages (or sometimes groups of related messages) should each be designed to accomplish a specific purposes/goal.  usually this goal is a (small) step toward getting the audience (or a specfic segment of your audience) to the final goal of your campaign.

 a.     Goals and Theses (C.I.) should fit the audience!!  Possible goals include:

i.     create uncertainty

ii.    reduce resistance

iii.   change attitude

iv.   amplify attitude (create 2nd order communicators)

v.    gain behavior


 b.    Use Audience analysis to design messages (see handout on the "General Adaptation Model")

i.     Select sources (use theory and reference groups)

ii.    Use rational model for base messages

iii.   Make adaptations for peripheral route issues

iv.   Consider behavioral expectations - include compliance gaining methods

v.    Consider including counter-arguments and refutation if needed


 c.    Message (Speech) Organization

i.    Normal thinking pattern Problem-Solution

(1)   attention

(2)   need

(3)   solution

(4)   visualization

(5)   evaluation (dealing with objections)

(6)   (action)


ii.   The Motivated Sequence (Monroe)

(1)   attention

(2)   need

(a)  state it

(b)  illustrate it

(c)  reinforce it

(d)  link it to receivers

(3)  satisfaction (note rules for fear appeals)

(a)  state clearly the belief or action receivers should adopt

(b)  explain

(c)  demonstrate it theoretically AND esp. practically

(d)  meet objections

(4)  call for (specific) action (directions)


iii.  Pro - Con

(1)  be fair

(2)  carefully refute opponents

(3)  consider primacy-recency

(a)  when attitude structure is low (lack of knowledge or undecidedness in the audience,, go pro first

(b)  if you can gain public commitment early, go pro first

(c)  go pro first, if audience agrees with you


iv.    One side or two?

(a)  2 sides for a knowledgeable audience - familiar issue

(b)  1 side if audience is already on your side (and won't hear opponents)

(c)   2 sides if audience is opposed -- mention opposition arguments early

(d)   be sure you critique opposition in 2 sided messages


v.   Inspirational

(1)   attention

(2)   establish audience character- value relationship/identity

(3)   illustrate need for a response in relation to value identity

(4)   present directions for action


Last updated 3/15/2010