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Chapter 3

Adapting Your Message to Your Audience


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Identify Your Audiences      Gatekeeper Primary Secondary Auxiliary Watchdog McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-2 .

Analyze Your Audiences  Individuals  Group members  Demographics  Psychographics  Organization members  Culture  Discourse community McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-3 .

All Rights Reserved .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 McGraw-Hill/Irwin ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ 2-4 ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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 McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-5 .

& documents  Shows in use of space. and power McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-6 . attitudes. stories. money.Analyze Organization Members  Organizational culture – set of values. and philosophies  Shows in myths. heroes.

language.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. All Rights Reserved 2-7 . and dress?  What does the work space look like?  What are the organization’s goals? McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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? McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.To Analyze Discourse Community. All Rights Reserved 2-8 .

and cost Number of messages carried Number of people reached Efficiency and goodwill  Choose channels based on the audience. and situation McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. accuracy. All Rights Reserved 2-9 .Channels  Communication channels – means by which you convey your message  Channels vary by     Speed. purpose.

Six Questions to Analyze Audiences 1. All Rights Reserved 2-10 . 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? McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

continued… 3. What positives can you emphasize?  What are benefits for audience?  What do you have in common with them?  Experiences – Interests – Goals – Values McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-11 . What obstacles must you overcome?  Is audience opposed to your message?  Will it be easy to do as you ask? 4.Six Questions to Analyze Audiences.

or footnotes? McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-12 . 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. continued… 5.Six Questions to Analyze Audiences. visuals.

How will audience use document?  Under what physical conditions will they use it?  What purpose will document serve?  Reference  Guide  Basis of lawsuit McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.Six Questions to Analyze Audiences. All Rights Reserved 2-13 . continued… 6.

All Rights Reserved 2-14 .Audience Benefits  Advantages audience gets from     Using your services Buying your products Following your policies Adopting your ideas McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

All Rights Reserved 2-15 .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 McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Four Criteria for Audience Benefits 1. Use clear logic to prove and vivid detail to explain 4. Stress intrinsic and extrinsic ones   Intrinsic– built in Extrinsic – added on 3. Adapt benefits to audience 2. Phrase benefits in you-attitude McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-16 .

Show how audience’s needs can be met with those features McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Identify feelings. fears. and needs of audience 2. Identify objective features of your product or policy that could meet needs 3.Three Ways to Identify & Develop Audience Benefits 1. All Rights Reserved 2-17 .

Writing to Multiple Audiences  When not possible to meet everyone’s needs. analyze gatekeepers and primary audience to determine     Content and choice of details Organization Level of formality Use of technical terms and theory McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved 2-18 .