Saturday, January 18, 2014

More About Your Audience...

Your Audience: Starting at the very beginning.
Ask yourself this when developing any communication—to whom am I communicating?

The answer will inform you as you plan, develop, design and edit. Don’t trick yourself—keep asking yourself that question—become objective enough to become one with your audience.

At one time your audience may have been a thesis review committee but you’ve graduated and are in a new arena. The audience for a brochure about food security needs a much more direct approach, content relevant to their experience and understanding.

Center yourself in the task of communicating with someone, not to someone. Success lies in the subtle difference of those two simple words, it all comes down to relevance for your reader.

Who is your audience? What is relevant to them?
 Often organizational communications get trapped in a syndrome that alienates their audience right away. This can best be described as the talking to yourself.

Everything you know about your topic does not have to be conveyed in this communication. Don’t unload all of the technical terms you use in your workplace on your unsuspecting audience. While willing to listen to your logic, your audience may be very unwilling to become fully indoctrinated at this first exposure.

About that call-to-action! What do you want them to do?
Next ask yourself another question—what do we want the audience to do? Do we want them to write to their congressman? Ask them to do that. Do we want them to give generously? Ask them to do that. Do we want them to attend an event and bring a friend?

You don’t ask you don’t get! Don’t count on your readers to do the right thing—it may be obvious to you what needs to be done, but then—you work for an organization that makes doing the right thing part of its daily duties.

You have to help them do the right thing and that means making it simple to act. A clear choice, with a benefit that is comprehensible and means something now not in the distant future.

Three simple guideposts to include in your content:
  1. Audience focus,
  2. Content relevance
  3. Clear call to action.

    guy arceneaux             1.18.14