Who’s reading?

Knowing your audience is critical. When parents speak to their babies and toddlers, they use different words, phrases and tones than, say, you might use when you deliver a quarterly results presentation to the CEO. Fail to adapt the message to your audience and you may as well head home.

But if you know who they are and what they need, you’re in the bonus round. Knowing who might read your blog, listen to your podcast or otherwise consume your message is easier than you might think. Start by looking at your existing business contacts:

  • Customers
  • Prospects
  • Suppliers
  • Competitors
  • Media
  • Friends and family
  • Anyone else who comes to mind

Now that you know who you’re dealing with, look at how you’re reaching them. You’re likely already using different media – phone, newsletter, corporate web site, among others – to interact with them. Take a moment to jot down which media are being used for which contact type.

Finally, look at each contact/medium combination. Toss these questions around for a bit:

  • Is the medium helping or hindering your attempts to build a solid relationship with this contact?
  • Do you think you’re successfully reaching these people with the tools you’ve got? Do some tools or media work better than others?
  • Would a more interactive medium – a blog, perhaps – make it easier for you to build a more meaningful relationship with them?
  • How would you know if you’re succeeding? Or failing?

We’ll leave it at that for now. You need to give some thought to who you’re working with and how well you’re reaching them. We’ll explore the answers in our next entry.

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