Lester Faigley wrote “The social perspective [of writing], then, moves beyond the traditional rhetorical concern for audience, forcing researchers [and professional writers] to consider issues, such as social roles, group purposes, communal organization, ideology, and finally theories of culture” (Peeples 59). This indicates that Faigley believes that the audience is more than just a listening ear for the rhetor. The audience is comprised of unique individuals who have different social constraints and ideologies. This is something very apparent in the public relations realm.
When a company makes the decision to lay off employees, for example, they would usually create some type of reasoning behind the decision to present to the employees directly. While the individuals who are being let go all have to commonality of that unfortunate event that is about to take place they are all still individuals who will receive the message differently depending on different social factors. An older individual may see the lay off as early retirement. An person in his or her mid 30-40 may see the termination as a devastating blow, not knowing what to do after being released from a company that they’ve been with since graduation college. A younger individual may not realize the impact fully and may brush off the layoff to begin searching for new work. While all of the individuals involved directly with the layoff of the employees will have a different response to the reasoning behind it, the public relations department must also take into consideration that documents regarding the layoff could be released to the public resulting in a negative or positive effect on the public image of the company.