Audience analysis. Tailoring your writing style to reach the intended audience. Types of audiences. Primary audience The target of the writing Needs the writing to get their job done Maybe acknowledged in the writing e.g., “As a new student…” Secondary audience May also read the writing
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Audience analysis Tailoring your writing style to reach the intended audience
Types of audiences • Primary audience • The target of the writing • Needs the writing to get their job done • Maybe acknowledged in the writing e.g., “As a new student…” • Secondary audience • May also read the writing • May care only about a piece of the writing, not all • Never acknowledged in the writing, you just know they are lurking
Audience Analysis: Traditional method • Assumes writer writes for a living • Suggests writer analyze audience by • Analyzing writing task • Creating survey • Submitting survey to potential audience/readers • Reviewing survey results • Writing according to results
Audience Analysis: time efficient method • Examine • Primary Audience • What is their job description? This can tell you… • Why they need the information? • What they will do with the information? • What is their level of expertise regarding the content? • How up to date is their knowledge? • How in depth is their knowledge? • Secondary Audience • Primary audience questions apply • Why is this person interested in the content? • What areas are of special consideration? • Readers’ attitude to you/your content
Audience Types • Expert, technologist • Technician • Manager, Executive • End user
Assumptions you can make • Primary audience • Usually more capable of digesting the information they need • Secondary audience • Usually knowledge less technically in depth or knowledge is dated • Usually an executive or manager, thus busy!
Tailoring to all Audiences • Use all the TW rules to provide quick navigation of information • Title/subject = purpose • Headings -> clear, explicit, parallel (not single words) • Table/figure titles = purpose • Topic sentences -> first sentence of paragraph, clear idea of paragraph’s purpose • Etc…
Analysis over -> now what? • Determine audience • Use the PURPOSE to drive PATTERN/FORM • Use Audience Analysis to drive TONE, optional content • Do not write a single document to multiple varied primary audience types • Because no one will be happy with the result • For each document, pick one audience type and write to it • If you need to address multiple varied primary audiences, write multiple documents • Could share parts
Tailoring to specific audience types & Tailoring to the secondary audience • Word choice • Use phrases, concepts known by the audience as relates to the purpose of the content • Tone • Chatty, slang, abbrev. • Formal • Defining/explaining • Terms: Acronyms, abbreviations • Procedures/processes • Additional sections • Glossary • Appendix (additional detailed information)
Practice • Tell your audience that you’re a week behind on your project because of ?? Where Audience = • Manager • Project manager • Cube neighbor/colleague • Friend/Facebook
Practice 2 • Tell <audience> that employees of your group are complaining about the supervision of flextime where Audience = • Senior VP who championed flextime at the company • HR manager who deals with morale-related issues • Your manager who is unaware of the complaining, but other employees he/she manages are complaining • A business reporter from the local newspaper who hears about the complaining