Tips: It’s all about audience

Another way of saying “well written” is “strong connection between writer and reader.” Good writing, like any good communication, involves creating a link between sender and receiver. This is why I believe that the most important factor in any communication project is profound consideration of target audience. This means doing your homework: find out not only who the target audience is, but what they already know and feel about the topic. Get inside their heads, use this knowledge to create connections and then impart whatever you’re trying to communicate through these connections. If that sounds difficult, it’s because it is. Get over it and get on with it.

There are all kinds of ways to create a strong connection with readers:
metaphors, anecdotes, appeals to emotion and logic are just a few. To know which ones are best absolutely requires in-depth knowledge about the target audience. In 2013, I wrote and directed a video aimed at foreigners who might be interested in coproducing with Canadian companies. International coproductions are incredibly diverse; they can involve anything from shooting scenes in another country to distribution and funding agreements. So part of the challenge was to communicate that Canadians have expertise in the full spectrum of production activities: we have good actors and technicians, along with funding and distribution vehicles, equipment and sound stages. Canada has a long and successful history of coproductions in film, television and digital media (animation, games and more).

The video would be shown mostly at industry events (galas, trade shows, festivals). So when it came time to choose clips of coproductions (to illustrate Canadian expertise), I hunted through recent international festivals to see which Canadian coproductions had been shown. I found many that I had never heard of and had to negotiate with production companies to get access to some clips. The end result is posted on my website. Most of us won’t recognize many of the movies (e.g. Midnight’s Children, Blind), but that’s as it should be, because we’re not the target audience. (I loved the former much more than the latter).

Share your tips on connecting with readers by leaving a comment below.

photo courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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