RIP Essay: Audience Paragraph Draft (350 Words)

Those Powerpoints are the course materials about RIP Project. I will send you my previous works on it.

Targeting an Audience Effectively


Targeting a Specific Audience: A Portrait of the Scam-prone Person

As I worked on my RIP project, the idea of who I thought I was targeting changed from a generic music festival goer to a much more detailed psychological profile of someone who is prone to being scammed, with traits like vulnerability, an external locus of control, and persistent low self esteem being the foundation of my imaginary reader’s psychology. The core skill I needed to develop was understanding my audience and their specific and relevant qualities as they pertain to my message. Even if a message is powerful for one audience, it may feel completely pointless to a different audience, so learning about persuasion this quarter has led me to an appreciation of audience focus. In my first draft of my Fyre Festival film review, I was preoccupied with making references to festival culture and was mostly concerned with my reader in terms of their interests, hobbies, and their affluence which enabled them to pursue these interests. But as I read, revised, and tinkered with my project, I slowly began to revise my message for my audience; this was not simply about spotting one isolated incident of a foolish, unethical, and greedy scam, but about connecting this one scam to the ubiquity of scams everywhere in the world. As my message evolved, so did my sense of who I was speaking to; this message is most needed for those people who share a particular personality profile that makes them vulnerable. By using my own experience of a friend of mine of joined a cult, I began researching and finding links like the following: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. While the Fyre Festival was not a cult, it was a scam, and cults themselves are very much scam operations designed to exploit in much the same way that the Fyre Festival exploited its customers. We can see this phenomenon on full display in the documentary. The “leader” Billy is charismatic and relies on false promises to string everyone along, and he resists questions and inquiry in precisely the same way that cult leaders refuse to be questioned and they actively shut down open dialogue in their community. My audience is the person who is prone to accepting and embracing such an experience, and according to existing research there is a very specific profile of the scam prone/cult prone person. In addition to being vulnerable, isolated, and having low self-esteem, they have a very low tolerance for ambiguity and prefer black and white thinking as seen in this more credible source than the one above. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

In the study of personality, psychologists have called this low tolerance for ambiguity TA, and this single trait became the core foundation for the psychological profile of my audience member. I used this academic source in my RIP essay rather than the first link which was not peer reviewed, so I am still using the skills we learned for the RA with respect to exercising discernment with respect to source credibility.