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Targeting your reader

Date: 
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Who’s it to?

This time of year, every other Saturday afternoon, I cut a sad and
lonely figure.  You’ll see me spending the best part of two hours sitting
in the cold and wet.
The purpose?
To indulge a childhood habit of proffering my support to the somewhat less-than-mighty Northampton Town (aka The Cobblers) football team,
as they labour to avoid yet another morale-sapping defeat.

But I’m not quite alone.  I enjoy the company of a smattering of similarly hapless individuals, as we sit in silent camaraderie, savouring the bitter taste of inevitable humiliation.

Each week, I’m struck by a repeated wail from one of my fellow supporters.  Our so-called star player slides yet another mis-directed pass a metre and a half wide of its intended target.  My friend cries out in despair - “Who’s it to?

No answer is never heard.  This most pertinent of questions hangs unrequited in the heavy, sodden, November air.  But his question is a good one - and not just for the football field. 

Don't miss the target

Just the other day, I was listening to a 5-minute radio talk.  The first six words went like this -

“Most of us know what epistemology is.”  How I'd love to have inquired of this erudite gent, “Who’s it to?”.  Who is the ‘us’?   I have a sneaking feeling I know the answer.  The ‘us’ would be his little clique of academic mates.  In opening his talk in this way, with just six words, he managed to exclude most of his audience.  I’ll warrant that 97% of them, either turned off their radios or popped out to the kitchen to make a cuppa.

The next time you pen a blog, sales letter, email or web page, don't miss the target.
As you write, keep asking, ‘Who’s it to?’.
Think about your chosen audience - about their world, their needs.
Write to them in their language, explaining how your service or product
will satisfy that need and make their lives a little better.

 

And tomorrow's topic?

Punchlines

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