On this page:
“Focus on identifying your target audience, communicating an authentic message that they want and need.”
When creating a public communication piece you must always have your target audience in mind.
Yes, if you’re completing an assessment, it may be that the only people who read it are your lecturers, however, they want you to write as if it’s being published into the public sphere. Therefore, you need to know who you’re writing for. Each format of public communication is used for different reasons, as well as different audiences.
Your audience will also depend on your topic and the message you're trying to convey.
If you were to write an informal blog post, anyone with a search engine looking for sites about your topic could find it. Your audience will vary from academics to members of the public.
For example, if someone wants to learn about climate change, because they are trying to have a greener lifestyle, they may stumble upon your blog about how plastic in the oceans is affecting sea turtles. Another example could be, you’re an author or artist and wish to create a blog to update your followers and/or use it as an e-portfolio, you may even reflect on your process and give other creatives tips on the craft.
Letters to the editor and Opinion pieces
Formats such as these are for specific audiences. These are found on news outlet sites and are written by the readers who want to voice their opinions on an event, or article. A letter to the editor (LTE) is addressed to the editor and must be written in a way that will get their attention, but as it is also written for publication your audience will also be the public. The same can be said for opinion pieces, for these however, you must be aware of the news outlet you’re sending it to. If they have a more left leaning readership, they may be less likely to publish a right leaning piece.
Used more for collaboration with a group of people and can be seen by anyone it is shared with. It needs to be easy to navigate and if it has multiple pages, the information on the pages needs to be relevant to the topic.
Written for the readers of the publication in which your article will be published. If you’re writing about a newly released film, you won’t send it to a scientific journal and vice versa, an article on cancer treatments wouldn’t be sent to a film magazine.
Remember to always be aware of who you’re writing for and research the publications you’re sending your work to. Our Language Guide has more information on how to make your writing readable and accessible for your target audience.