Dissemination Toolkit: Audience & Messaging

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Writing a paper for a peer-reviewed journal is very different from writing an informal blog. Vocabulary, tone, and length are just a few aspects of your writing that should change depending on your audience. If you don't identify the right audience and adapt your writing accordingly, journals and blogs may reject your submissions or, if published, you may lose the interest of the very group you are trying to reach! 

Your strategy for outreach may depend on your audience as well. For example, social media or online communities such as the Teaching Channel might be more appropriate channels for a practitioner audience than a peer-reviewed journal article. For a policymaker audience, sharing a brief or short video, in addition to a report, might make your case more compelling.

It may also be helpful to get advice from potential audience members on what issues interest them, where they access information, and how they use information (on that topic) as you are drafting your plan, messaging, or product. 

Helpful Resources:

  • Know Your Audience
    This SkillsYouNeed article covers the importance of knowing your audience, how to start identifying your audience, and how to tailor your writing to your audience.


Businesses pay a lot of attention to messaging. You should too. Below are tips and strategies from marketing companies that can help you craft appropriate and compelling messages about your research. Whether you are trying to recruit teachers for a study or promoting your latest module, messaging can be a key strategy to getting the right information out and attracting interest to your work.

Helpful Resources:

  • A Planning Check List for Business Messages
    In addition to a planning checklist (that is useful beyond business messages), the book chapter describes determining your purpose; credibility, audience, timing; and the pros and cons of different communication channels.
  • Questions to Consider When Crafting the Message
    How does the target audience see the campaign issue and goal? And how can the audience be motivated to respond to the call for action? Consider these and other questions in this UN Women article when crafting your messaging.

See also the Writing & Publishing section of our dissemination toolkit.