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.
- 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.
- Writing Tips: Know Your Audience
What does it mean to "know your audience"? This Writing Forward blog provides these tips and other writing resources.
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.
- A Planning Check List for Business Messages
The title of this article is misleading. In addition to a checklist (that is useful beyond business messages), it describes determining your purpose; credibility, audience, timing; and the pros and cons of different communication channels.
- Articulate to Resonate: Crafting and Communicating Messages That Matter
This article by communication consultants, Sametz Blackstone Associates, gives four principles to keep in mind when crafting your message.
- Crafting Messages: Establish Your Communication Style
This article by The NonProfit Times gives three steps to establishing (and consistently maintaining) your communication style. Not every message has to be for everyone!
- 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.