A Tale of Two Audiences

Identifying and knowing your audience is vital to targeted communications. What happens when your target audience for one piece of communication is actually two audiences with converging but extremely different interests?

Your copy must be written in seamless, yet easily discerned “levels” which are easily accessed by each audience on the same page.

This challenge is common in admissions publications for colleges and universities; marketing materials for to the senior market (continuing care retirement communities for instance); and business-to-business and industrial communications in which technical (web savvy) and non-technical audiences must be reached in the same piece.

Print Imitates the Web

Here’s an example: College admissions materials must successfully communicate with the parent, who is paying the tab, and the student who consuming the service. This is a neat trick for one publication, but possible with “levels of copy” appealing to each groups’ special interests. I have used this technique when writing college “view books.”

Writers should learn from the web when communicating to younger audiences.  They have been conditioned to scan rather than read. Short quick-hitting copy, subheads, photo captions, bullets, sidebars, and testimonials that function like keywords appeal to the student’s need to know about classes, dorm rooms, food, and social life. The parent, however, demands more traditional copy and will quickly hone in on the longer text or “fine print” that tells them about costs, security, financial aid, and if their graduates will be employable.

Everybody gets what they need – the communicator included.

Graphic Copy

This copywriting technique demands a strong collaboration between the writer and graphic designer. Copy in any print media for the web generation is a more than just words it is a graphic element.  Keep this in mind when faced with the challenge of the dual audience. Make sure you have a writer can write for two audiences at once and who works well with designers.

This story was written by Chris Gregor, freelance copywriter. Take a look at my other work (the stuff I get paid for) and learn more about my copywriting capabilities and experience/backgroundContact me at Gregor & Co. 413 528-4763 or chris@gregorwriting.com

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