Define Your Audience
Before preparing a communication, you must first think about your audience.
Who is your audience?
- Subject experts?
- Scientists from another field?
The two videos below on the same topic highlight the need to target your audience. The first video is geared for a general public audience and the second one is for science writers. Note the use of more technical language in the second video.
Do Your Homework: Whenever possible, define the composition of your audience in advance. By knowing the needs and expectations of the audience, you can determine the key messages ahead of time. You need to answer the questions:
- What does your audience know about your topic already?
- What questions might they ask?
- What might they be interested in related to my topic?
To figure out the answers:
- Consider the Venue: Are you speaking at a middle school, science café, or community group? Reach out to the point of contact or organizer for information to ask questions about the attendees. When you schedule an interview with a reporter, ask him/her about the story and what kind of information they are looking for.
- Conduct an Internet Search: What type of events has the organization held in the past? Read or watch some stories the journalist wrote or produced to determine their expertise on the topic.