The goals of your team and the goals of your customer don't always coincide. Unfortunately, it's one of those little, often aggravating, truths of business. If you don't realize this, you might end up with a tech team who designs a beautiful, interactive website with the latest technologies, beautiful code architecture, and a cinematic triumph of a Flash landing page while your visitors just want to click on a link and find a contact address. Or you might just write something that no one actually reads. The point is that you have to know your readers.
To engage constructively with your audience, understanding them, and acting on that understanding, is paramount. Consider:
- Who are your readers? How will they come across your message? Is your document a person-to-person email , press release, white paper , advertisement, or something different? Who do you want it to appeal to?
- Why are you writing the document? Do you want to inform your audience? What action do you want your reader to take as a result of the document?
- What does your audience know? What do you need to establish or explain, and what will make them tune out?
- How does your audience feel about the topic? Are your readers skeptical, hostile, or biased?
- What do your readers expect from your document? Are they looking for information, a solution to their problems, or something different?
- What does your audience want, generally? How does your document further that larger goal?
- What medium best supports the message you're trying to send? An email? A memo?
- What format or layout will appeal to your audience? A magazine-style spread? An infographic? Pure text?
If you know your readers, you can tailor your communication for maximum efficiency. To learn more about how to enhance your workplace communication skills, contact us at Hurley Write, Inc.
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