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Post #8: Rhetoric about Issues

Due by 4:00 p.m. on October 24th

As Hoffman and Ford (2010) note, “Issue management rhetoric is constrained by a number of factors and potentially supported by other factors. Organizational rhetors often change face challenges of (1) being heard in an environment full of messages, (2) developing rhetoric under time limitations, (3) analyzing and presenting complex ideas, and (4) working within the context of existing organizational identity and prior organizational rhetoric” (149).

Respond to the following questions with the website (or social media page) of your selected organization in mind (if you are doing the alternative project option where you are developing a website for an organization which doesn’t have one, select a model website for this posting). Include in your posting a link to the website and, if possible, embed at least one image (screenshots, etc) from it.

If the website has an abundance of content, at this stage you may choose to focus only on the homepage to answer these prompts. You can answer each in a few statements; you don’t have to write your entire review of the website yet. However, feel free to write as much as you can, since you can use this content in your Client Project (formal report) later.

For this posting, begin evaluating and/or critiquing your selected organization’s possible rhetoric about issues (or lack thereof). This will require you to first overview the rhetorical situation of the organization, so the following include prompts about that as well. If a prompt doesn’t apply to your organization, make sure to state that, as well, and explain why/how.
Rhetorical Situation:
  1. Exigencies: What elements in its rhetorical situation (surrounding context, etc) appear to be challenges or opportunities for the organization? Is there an imperfection or an opportunity?
  2. Audiences: What audiences seem to be the most appropriate target in the situation? What are the characteristics of or interest of members of these audiences?
  3. Constraints and Assets: What things might make it more difficult or easier for the organization to answer the exigencies? Are there pre-existing beliefs, attitudes or values, or past rhetoric or experiences that will affect how the message is interpreted by audiences?


  1. How does the organization portray itself as qualified or authorized to speak about a particular issue?
  2. Is there evidence in the rhetoric that interested audiences have been consulted and have had a reasonable opportunity to influence the process?
  3. What is said about an issue and what is not said?
  4. Based on your knowledge of the rhetorical situation and rhetoric, does the organization appear to conceal or de-emphasize information that might influence the issue?

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