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  Locker−Kienzler: Business and Administrative Communication, Eighth EditionI. The Building Blocks of Effective Messages2. Adapting Your Message  to Your Audience © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2008 CHAPTER 2 AdaptingYour Message toYour Audience Learning Objectives After studying this chapter, you will know: 1 Ways to analyze different kinds of audiences.a.Individualsb.Groupsc.Organizations 2 How to choose channels to reach your audience. 3 How to analyze your audience and adapt your message to it. 4 How to identify and develop audience benefits.  Locker−Kienzler: Business and Administrative Communication, Eighth EditionI. The Building Blocks of Effective Messages2. Adapting Your Message  to Your Audience © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2008 I NTHENEWS Audience Analysis Is Always in Fashion K ay Krill was the vice president of merchan-dising for Ann Taylor Stores’ successfulAnn Taylor Loft line of business casual fash-ions. When sales of the Ann Taylor business-formal brand sagged in 2004, the company asked her totake over both fashion lines. The problem: how topromote both lines, when both have different looksand appeal to different customers in different ways.The solution: focus on audience.Step one was to research thetarget audience for each line.Krill’s team interviewed AnnTaylor customers, observedthem while they shopped, andvisited their homes. Theyfound two very different stylesand motivations among theircustomers: Ann Taylor customers were focused on business wear that was appropriate to specific busi-ness settings, while Ann Taylor Loft customers bought clothes as expressions of personal identity.Step two was to envision the target audience foreach fashion line as separate people—named “Ann”and “Loft”—and make decisions about each line based on the ideas and values that appealed to eachof these “customers.” Ann was characterized as “re-fined,” “approachable,” and “sophisticated.” Loftwas “relaxed,” “casual,” “lighthearted,” “active,”and “spirited.” For the Ann Taylor staff, understand-ing their audience was the key to building fashionlines that resonated with eachset of customers’ needs andstyles. The result? By 2006, netincome at Ann Taylor storeswas up 500% from 2004.Audience analysis is the firststep in any communicationprocess: it gives you the toolsyou need to shape your product and your message.In order to communicate effectively with your audi-ence, you need to understand who they are, whatgroups they belong to, and what values they hold. 41 “Audience analysis gives you the tools  you need to shape your product and  your message.”  Adapted from Amy Merrick, “Asking ‘What Would Ann Do?’” Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2006, B1, B3.  Locker−Kienzler: Business and Administrative Communication, Eighth EditionI. The Building Blocks of Effective Messages2. Adapting Your Message  to Your Audience © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2008 42Part 1 The Building Blocks of Effective Messages Chapter Outline Identifying Your AudiencesWays to Analyze Your Audience ã Analyzing Individuals ã Analyzing Members of Groups ã Analyzing the Organizational Culture and the Discourse Community Choosing Channels to Reach Your AudienceUsing Audience Analysis to Adapt Your Message 1.How Will the Audience Initially React to the Message?2.How Much Information Does the Audience Need?3.What Obstacles Must You Overcome?4.What Positive Aspects Can You Emphasize?5.What Are the Audience’s Expectations about the Appropriate Language,Organization, and Form of Messages?6.How Will the Audience Use the Document? Audience Analysis WorksAudience Benefits ã Characteristics of Good Audience Benefits ã Ways to Identify and Develop Audience Benefits ã Audience Benefits Work Writing or Speaking to Multiple Audiences with Different NeedsSummary of Key Points Knowing who you’re talking to is fundamental to the success of any message.You need to identify your audiences, understand their motivations, and knowhow to reach them. Identifying Your Audiences The first step in analyzing your audience is to decide who your audience is.Organizational messages have multiple audiences:1.A gatekeeper has the power to stop your message instead of sending it on toother audiences. The gatekeeper therefore controls whether your messageeven gets to the primary audience. Sometimes the supervisor who assignsthe message is also the gatekeeper; sometimes the gatekeeper is higher in theorganization. In some cases, gatekeepers may exist outside the organization.2.The primary audience will decide whether to accept your recommenda-tions or will act on the basis of your message. You must reach the primaryaudience to fulfill your purposes in any message.3.The secondary audience may be asked to comment on your message or toimplement your ideas after they’ve been approved. Secondary audiencesalso include lawyers who may use your message—perhaps years later—asevidence of your organization’s culture and practices.4.An auxiliary audience may encounter your message but will not have tointeract with it. This audience includes the “read-only” people.5.A watchdog audience, though it does not have the power to stop the message and will not act directly on it, has political, social, or economicpower. The watchdog pays close attention to the transaction between you  Locker−Kienzler: Business and Administrative Communication, Eighth EditionI. The Building Blocks of Effective Messages2. Adapting Your Message  to Your Audience © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2008 Chapter 2 Adapting Your Message to Your Audience 43 and the primary audience and may base future actions on its evaluation of your message.As the following examples show, one person can be part of two audiences.Frequently, a supervisor is both the primary audience and the gatekeeper. Dawn is an assistant account executive in an ad agency. Her boss asks her to write aproposal for a marketing plan for a new product the agency’s client is introducing. Her primary audience is the executive committee of the client company, who will decidewhether to adopt the plan. The secondary audience includes the marketing staff of theclient company, who will be asked for comments on the plan, as well as the artists,writers, and media buyers who will carry out details of the plan if it is adopted. Her boss, who must approve the plan before it is submitted to the client, is the gatekeeper. Her office colleagues who read her plan are her auxiliary audience.  Joe works in the data processing unit of a bank. He must write a monthlyprogress report describing his work. This month, he has worked on implementinga centralized system for handling customers’ checks. His boss is a primary audi-ence. His boss will write a performance appraisal evaluating his work, so Joewants to present his own efforts positively. The boss may also include paragraphsfrom Joe’s progress report in a memo to the president of the bank, who wants toknow when the bugs in the system will be worked out. The president is thus also a primary audience. The secondary audience includes the bank’s customer servicerepresentatives, who must answer customer questions and deal with complaintsabout the new system, and sales representatives from the computer company thatsold the hardware to the bank, who want to be sure that bank personnel are able touse the equipment effectively. Ways to Analyze Your Audience The most important tools in audience analysis are common sense and empa-thy. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to feel withthat person. Use what you know about people and about organizations to pre-dict likely responses. Analyzing Individuals When you write or speak to people in your own organization and in other or-ganizations you work closely with, you may be able to analyze your audienceas individuals. You may already know your audience. It will usually be easyto get additional information by talking to members of your audience, talkingto people who know your audience, and observing your audience. You maylearn that one manager may dislike phone calls, so you will know to write Dow Chemical is aware that an audience is composed of individual people. Their adver-tising campaign—“The Human Element”—“is intended to make a high-level emotionalconnection with people and help them see Dow as a responsible and involved citizen of the world,” according to Patti Temple Rocks, Dow’s Vice President of Global Communica-tions and Reputations. Source: “Human Element Ad Campaign Jump Starts Reputation Initiative,” Around Dow  12, no. 6 (July2006): 1. AccommodatingAudiences For years Wal-Mart hasdominated the retail industry byoffering a variety of products at“everyday low prices.” But Wal-Mart’s strategy of standardizationand the resulting economies ofscale that helped the companybecome a retailing giant maynow have become its Achillesheel. In trying to be all things toall people, explains EduardoCastro-Wright, the company’snew CEO, “you end up under-serving everyone because youdon’t have an offering that is spe-cific to that customer segment.”Tocounter slipping sales andmake the company even morecompetitive, Castro-Wright has in-troduced six demographic groupsthat will allow regional managersto localize their stores’ product mixto better suit their customers. ã Stores in Hispanic marketswill include large farmers-market events offering freshfoods and will featuredisplays for quinceaneras. ã Stores in areas with large“empty nest” populationswill have smaller children’ssections and a largerpharmacy area. ã A new urban-style store out-sideof Chicago quadrupleditsdisplay of gospel, rhythmand blues, and hip-hop musicand added baby clothes andsupplies designed forpremature babies to meet theneeds of local shoppers.In addition to localizing its mer-chandise, Wal-Mart is also local-izing its staff: regional executives,who once lived in company head-quarters at Bentonville, AR, willnow be required to live withintheirregions to better understandtheir customer base. Adapted from Ann Zimmerman, “ToBoost Sales, Wal-Mart Drops One-Size-Fits-All Approach,” Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2006, A1.


Jul 23, 2017
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