Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Developing an Audience Profile

All forms of business message writing require three important steps, planning, writing, and completing.  Writing the actual message is not the difficult part. However understanding what constitutes planning is important to getting one’s point across effectively and easily. Although, defining one’s purpose is important to successful writing, developing an audience profile is the key.
            What does it mean to develop an audience profile and how does it serve the writer? After defining the purpose of your message-whether to inform, persuade or to collaborate- you need to analyze your target audience to help plan your message. People always need to fulfill their intrinsic needs from anything, so you need to let your audience know what they will get from your message. They want to know how your message will affect them personally or professionally. To fully comprehend the needs of your audience, you need to determine several factors in analyzing them.
            For you to analyze your audience, you need to identify who are your primary audience, determine the audience size and geographic distribution, determine audience composition, gauge the audience’s level of understanding, understand their expectations and preferences, and predict their possible reaction. You need to figure out Who are these people? What do you know about their age, class, gender, education, or political position? You also need to know the audience attitudes towards the topic, and what values they have. 
           The reason why I chose this topic is because when I write messages I tend to lose my intended audience. I usually have shortcomings in terms of who I am writing to and what for. Also, I tend to lose focus on my original audience.  To me, analyzing my audience more carefully will help me get my point across easier, and keep me focused on satisfying the needs of my audience. Moreover, the textbook is very helpful not just for writing better in school and getting good grades, but I feel if I master it, it would save me a lot of time in the future and make me a more successful communicator.
            The textbook suggests that for simple, routine messages, you usually don’t need to analyze your audience in depth. On the other hand, complex messages, or messages intended for indifferent or hostile audiences, one needs to take the time to study their information needs and potential reactions to the message.  For the example from a real-life case where developing audience profile is presented, I chose an article from the Wall Street Journal Corporate News section about Google. The article is dated February 24th 2011, and is titled Google Tool To Move Microsoft Files To Web. According to the article, Google will offer Microsoft Office documents on Google servers that can be available to share with other users.  This is an enhancement that will enable users to take Office files and upload them to Google’s servers under unique Web addresses, so they can be accessed from any internet-connected device through Google’s Docs. The article about Google’s Docs relates to developing an audience profile in two categories.
            The first category is the corporate readers, or people who will speculate on the effectiveness of this new tool as a new investment for Google. The article is written to showcase what Google is doing to establish itself as an online software seller.  The intended audience profiles are clearly those who will determine if Google’s move will be successful, affecting Google’s shares. The second audiences in this article are the general reader. Besides how Google developed Google Docs, the article exposes its development to the reader and what it does. Inevitably, the article will generate buzz in the business world, where Office tools are mostly used, and an increasing need for easier accessibility is visible. The new tool offered by Google is introduced as Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office.
            How will Cloud Connect improve business communication? Undoubtedly, this is a great step in liberating Office users. Sending files as attachments did not mean the receiving party will be able to access it. Sometimes people have different versions of Office, or the operating systems are not compatible. Cloud Connect will enhance productivity, because people can share files more easily from anywhere they are, with any platform they are running.
              Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular in business communications today, but is vulnerable. The reason why many people are hesitant to make the move to sharing their work online has been the security risk. Business people are genuinely distrustful in making that leap to cloud computing, even if it were more accessible. Generally, Business people rely on their internal networks to communicate, but if Google and Microsoft can convince their users that their content are secure, more people will move toward cloud computing. To see what Google's Cloud Connect is all about and what you can do with it, view the demo video

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