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Chapter 3

Adapting Your Message to Your Audience

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Identify Your Audiences


Gatekeeper Primary Secondary Auxiliary Watchdog

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Analyze Your Audiences


Individuals Group members
Demographics Psychographics

Organization members
Culture Discourse community

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Analyze Individuals
People you work closely with Myers-Briggs Type Indicator preference test that shows 4 types
Introvert-Extrovert Sensing-Intuitive Thinking-Feeling Perceiving-Judging
Which type are you?
ISTJ ISTP ISFJ ISFP INFJ INFP INTJ INTP

ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP ESTJ


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ESFJ

ENFJ

ENTJ
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Analyze Group Members


Focus on common features Map profile of group features
Demographic (quantity) features
Age Education Income Race Sex

Psychographic (quality) features


Values Beliefs Goals Lifestyles VALS (Values & Lifestyle) profile used

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Analyze Organization Members


Organizational culture set of values, attitudes, and philosophies
Shows in myths, stories, heroes, & documents Shows in use of space, money, and power

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To Analyze Organization Culture, Ask


Is organization tall or flat? How do people get ahead? Is diversity or homogeneity valued? Is sociability important? How formal are behavior, language, and dress? What does the work space look like? What are the organizations goals?
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To Analyze Discourse Community, Ask


What channels, formats and styles are preferred for communication? What do people talk about? What topics are not discussed? What kind of evidence and how much is needed to be convincing?

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Channels
Communication channels means by which you convey your message Channels vary by
Speed, accuracy, and cost Number of messages carried Number of people reached Efficiency and goodwill

Choose channels based on the audience, purpose, and situation


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Six Questions to Analyze Audiences


1. How will audience react at first?
Will they see message as important? What is their experience with you?

2. How much information do they need?


What do they already know? Does their knowledge need to be updated? What do they need to know to appreciate your points?
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Six Questions to Analyze Audiences, continued


3. What obstacles must you overcome?
Is audience opposed to your message? Will it be easy to do as you ask?

4. What positives can you emphasize?


What are benefits for audience? What do you have in common with them?
Experiences Interests Goals Values

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Six Questions to Analyze Audiences, continued


5. What does audience expect?
What writing style do they prefer? Are there red flag words? How much detail does audience want? Do they want direct or indirect structure? Do they have expectations about length, visuals, or footnotes?

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Six Questions to Analyze Audiences, continued


6. How will audience use document?
Under what physical conditions will they use it? What purpose will document serve? Reference Guide Basis of lawsuit

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Audience Benefits
Advantages audience gets from
Using your services Buying your products Following your policies Adopting your ideas

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Audience Benefits, continued


In informative messages
Benefits = reasons to comply with announced policies

In persuasive messages
Benefits = reasons to act

In negative messages
Benefits not used

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Four Criteria for Audience Benefits


1. Adapt benefits to audience 2. Stress intrinsic and extrinsic ones
Intrinsic built in Extrinsic added on

3. Use clear logic to prove and vivid detail to explain 4. Phrase benefits in you-attitude

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Three Ways to Identify & Develop Audience Benefits


1. Identify feelings, fears, and needs of audience 2. Identify objective features of your product or policy that could meet needs 3. Show how audiences needs can be met with those features

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Writing to Multiple Audiences


When not possible to meet everyones needs, analyze gatekeepers and primary audience to determine
Content and choice of details Organization Level of formality Use of technical terms and theory

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