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Audiences

  • Readers
    • Technical documents designed to meet needs of specific types of readers
      • 5 Ws and H
        • Who they are
        • What they need
        • Where they will read
        • When they will read
        • Why they will read
        • How they will read (electronic, paper)

  • Technical reader guidelines
    • 1. Raiders for information
    • 2. Must interpret without your help
    • 3. Want only need-to-know information
    • 4. Prefer concise text—the shorter the better
    • 5. Prefer graphics and effective page design

  • Profile readers
    • View your document from readers’ perspective
      • Familiarity with subject
      • Professional experience
      • Educational level
      • Reading and comprehension level
      • Skill level
    • Ascertain their
      • Needs—Information to make a decision, take action
      • Values—Efficiency? Consistency? Accuracy?
      • Attitudes—Toward you, organization, subject of document

  • Your technical description
    • Profile your readers (in-class activity IC3)
    • Give description a visualization test (in-class activity IC4)

  • Know your audience
    • What is important to the target audience?
    • What are the needs, values, opinions, knowledge, attitudes and/or beliefs held?
    • What is its culture?

  • Message Strategy
    • Message strategy is based on the message’s purpose, objectives and target audience.
      • Must research target audience to tailor the message.
      • Key message must be clear and compelling.
      • Visual and verbal communication should reinforce each other.

  • Publics
    • Groups of people who
      • are affected by or have an effect on the organization and
      • share common concerns or goals

    • Publics can
      • emerge from geographic markets,
        • such as Gainesville shoppers.
      • be defined by their roles and positions,
        • such as editor, homeowner, student, community leader, manager, parent, alumni, arts patron.
      • be defined by their use of media:
        • subscribers, viewers or those exposed to messages.
      • be identified by their reactions to certain issues of concern to the organization.

  • Priority, Key, Publics
    • Stakeholders who have something of value to exchange with organization.
      • Include employees, stockholders, customers, activists and media representatives.
      • Described with demographics, psychographics & sociographics.

  • Organizational culture
    • Behavior
    • Shared assumptions
    • Collective values and norms
    • Patterns of collective behaviors taught to new members

    • Denison Culture Model (1998)
      • Mission: The degree to which the company knows why it exists and what its direction is
      • Involvement: The degree to which individuals at all levels are engaged in and hold that mission as their own
      • Adaptability: The ability to know what stakeholders want and to respond to external forces and demands
      • Consistency: The systems and processes that support efficiency and effectiveness in reaching goals.

  • Target Audiences
    • Groups to whom messages are directed: groups you need to reach with a specific message.
      • Described with demographics, psychographics & sociographics.

  • Demographics
    • Facts about people that influence how they perceive messages
      • Age, gender, race, family size, socioeconomic status, income, education, occupation and geographic information.
      • People are born with characteristics, many of which change as they mature.
      • Most countries’ demographics are constantly changing.

  • Psychographics
  • Sociographics
    • Sociological characteristics that influence the way publics perceive messages
      • such as the groups that people belong to.
      • Can be inferred from demographics.

  • Diversity
    • Communicators need to be aware of the beliefs, attitudes and values of people with diverse backgrounds.
      • Must learn the cultural nuances of publics in order to communicate effectively
         with them.
        • "Talk their language" and represent their lifestyles.
      • Substantial differences within groups.

    • For each minority group
      • Communications designed specifically
      • Ideas pre-tested
      • Media-use understood.

  • International communication
    • Listen carefully—valued in all cultures
    • Be polite—please, thank you, smiles, friendly tone
    • Research the target culture
    • Talk with colleagues

    • Differences in content
      • China values fact-based documents, long-term benefits
    • Differences in organization
      • Many cultures start documents with statements of appreciation and bond-building
      • Getting to point can seem rude
    • Differences in style
      • Overt persuasion can seem rude
    • Differences in design


  • Your research report
    • Must know your organization’s publics
      • Especially target audience
      • Demographics
    • Must know its organizational culture

  • Next in-class assignment
    • Audience analysis
      • Write a technical process description
        • A process used in your field or major
        • About 300-400 words
      • Gauge your target audience's familiarity with it.
        • Interview classmates in groups of ~six
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