analyze primary and second audiences using typical profiling techniquesadjust writing format according to audience size, position relative come you, understanding of her topic, and demographic


The very first commandment in any type of business is to “Know her audience.” any kind of act of communication success depends totally on how well the sender tailors the post to fulfill the needs and also expectations of the audience. A writer have to always adjust the message, content and style to what is recognized or deserve to guess about the audience. A writer should connect to a customer differently than to a co-worker, and different again when interacting to a manager or come the CEO. In every case, the content, tone, word selections (diction), grammar, and overall layout (formal or informal) will change according come the audience.

You are watching: Profiling the audience for a business message helps the writer

Understanding how to compose the most proper message for an audience bring away skill and also consideration. However, audience profile permits for effective organization messages that achieve their communication goals. When profiling one audience, questioning the following questions:

How big is the main audience? Is that one or 2 people, a little group, or the basic public?Who is the primary or secondary audience?What is the skilled or an individual relationship come the organization?How lot do they already know about the subject or message?What is the audience demographic—i.e., your age, gender, social background, education level, and beliefs?
Figure 5.1: just how to use an audience file to create a business message (Business communication Essentials, 2016).

The complying with subsections delve further into this considerations to help you price the over questions in certain situations.

Profiling the Audience 

Figure 5.2: A writer may communicate to one human or a group of human being (BCcampus, n.d.)

Writing because that Audiences of miscellaneous Sizes

Writing to one person, a team of people, or the basic public requires a different writing style. Your writing style to accommodate a larger audience. As soon as emailing one person, because that instance, girlfriend can attend to them by name in the opened salutation and also continue to usage the second person singular you throughout. However, as soon as writing because that a bigger group, a more general and accessible language is required. When writing for the consumer public, in a blog on a company website, language have to be as level and obtainable as possible. In Canada, the public includes readers that will appreciate that you use straightforward words fairly than big, sophisticated equivalents because English possibly the second or third language. Indeed, the federal government of Canada has actually published a handy overview for how to create accessibly in level language.

Writing ability 5.1 – Using an easy and familiar Language: To effectively interact with your audience, use level language and also familiar words. Through using day-to-day familiar words, the audience will know the article easily and quickly. Use jargon only when the audience will understand these dedicated terms. When, complex words and daunting concepts must be included, show them with examples and administer a glossary as soon as it is crucial to use numerous such words/concepts. Usage concrete quite than summary words and give explicit info (e.g., “car crash” quite than “unfortunate accident”). Finally, select one term to describe something important and also stick come it; using various terms to describe the very same thing have the right to confuse the reader

Figure 5.3: perform of acquainted vs unfamiliar. Company writers are motivated to use obtainable language in company documents. (Business Communications, 2019)

To reinforce this lessons on plain language, you deserve to examine US federal government resources ~ above the object such as the “Principles of plain Language” PowerPoint on their Tools page (PLAIN, 2011) and also do a an option of plain language exercises (PLAIN, n.d.).

Writing skill 5.2 – prejudice Language: When creating to large audiences, language need to be unbiased in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, ability, or orientation. Communicators want to be inclusive come members of all groups. When communicating to or around a huge group of people, using singular pronouns like he, his, or she and also her would exclude half of the audience. Thus, using gender-neutral plural pronoun such together they, their, and also them is preferable. In addition, when identifying human being by their role, use non-gender-exclusive equivalents. See Queen’s University’s (2014) Inclusive Language Guidelines web page for much more on avoiding bias in her writing.

Table 5.1 using Unbiased Language

Biased LanguageImproved
Executives and their wivesExecutives and their spouses
Salesman, businessmanSales representative, business person
An Indian accountant was hiredAn accountant to be hired.
Jame Lee, a Chinese Canadian, applied.James Lee applied.
Confined to a wheelchair.Uses a wheelchair
Joanne Clark, 55, was transferred to a new job.Joanne Clark to be transferredto a new job.

Examples of exactly how to write using bais free language. (Business Communications, 2019)

Writing ability 5.3 – English idioms: The bigger the group, the an ext careful you have to be v using distinctive English idioms as well. Idioms room quirky or funny expression we use to do a point. If you want to reassure a customer who recently immigrated from phibìc Africa, because that instance, before explaining one automotive maintenance procedure distinct to Canadian winter weather and also said, “Hey, don’t worry, it’ll it is in a item of cake,” they might be wondering what eating cake has to do through switching come winter tires. Likewise, if friend said instead that it’ll it is in “a walk in the park,” they would certainly be confused around why they should walk with a park to obtain their radials switched. Calling it a “cakewalk” wouldn’t aid much, either.

These expressions would certainly be perfectly taken by anyone who has actually been conversing in English for years due to the fact that they would have heard it numerous times before and used that themselves. In the situation of utilizing them about EAL (English as an additional language) speakers, however, you would be much better off using the one word that these idioms interpret as: easy. Again, the whole goal of interaction is to it is in understood, for this reason if you use idioms with world who haven’t however learned them, you will fail come reach the goal. See for a wide an option of English idioms and also their meanings.

Test your understanding of English idioms by playing the corresponding game below.

Primary and secondary Audiences

Your primary audience is the human being or group the post is produced for; the plan receiver of the message. The main audience is the decision-maker who will act or no act together a an outcome of the message. Anyone rather who might read or listen to the article in the secondary audience. The secondary audience drops into two categories. First, those who will affect the main audience to do a decision; second, those that will be impacted by the decision that the major audience. Take into consideration the situation below to identify the primary and secondary audiences.

Always consider an additional audiences for any type of message. Writers have little-to-no control over who sees a message. An e-mail can be forwarded, and text or voicemail messages can be presented or played. Before sending that email or text, or leaving the voicemail in expert situations, constantly consider exactly how it would certainly be received by both the primary and secondary audiences.

 Audience and Position

Just as you could wear your finest clothes for an important occasion choose a task interview or wedding, you have to respectfully elevate the formality of her language depending on the regarded importance that the person you are interacting with.

Employers and clients deserve to be judgmental. One employee’s composing represents the company to clients and also other stakeholders (Wiens, 2012). Formality in writing requires correct grammar and punctuation, whereas an ext casual composing takes liberties together as utilizing sentence fragments and contractions. The level of formality in language will rely on her internal and external audiences. Business communications have three levels of formality depending on who will obtain the message: informal, semi-formal, and formal. Whatever the level the formality, always remember language need to befit the paper definition of the workplace.

Informal Language: The lowest level the formality occurs inside a agency when communicating throughout (between co-workers) or bottom (to rank-and-file employees). Here, informal interaction can be offered in memos, emails, and also text messages. As soon as we put pen come paper, informal interaction means, use of first-person pronouns, contractions, active language, and also conversational language is accepted.

Semi-Formal Language: The following level the formality is offered when communicating externally or when interacting internally upwards (to a manager and also other executives). Letters, proposals and reports are some documents that required semi-formal language. Semi-formal language entails reducing the use of first-person pronouns, contractions, and conversational language.

Formal Language: The greatest level the formality is provided when connecting to national or global audiences. A high level the formality method eliminating first-person pronouns, contractions, and idioms. Officially language additionally involves using third-person pronouns and much more passive than active writing. Finally, making use of words the when identified in a dictionary or analyzed through an application conveys the same meaning as the communique.

Figure 5.4: A summary of the characteristics of every level of formality in organization communications. (Communicating because that Results, 2017; company Communications, 2019)

Formality in writing also involves carefully picking words. Word selection is referred to as “diction”. The words supplied when creating a co-worker need to be different from the words supplied when creating your manager or a customer. Table 5.2 offers word choices that reflect informal, semi-formal and also formal language. Understanding the audience will certainly ensure your selection of indigenous is constantly right for the situation.

Table 5.2 Word options Along the Formality Spectrum

Informal / SlangSemi-formal / CommonFormal / Fancy
kick offbegin / startcommence
cut offendterminate
put offdelaypostpone
awesome / dopegoodpositive
crappy / shoddybadnegative
find outdiscoverascertain
go upriseincrease
fess increase / come cleanadmitconfess
 mull over consider contemplate
 bad-mouth / put down insult / belittle denigrate
 plus also moreover
 jones for need require
 put up with endure/suffer tolerate
 leave the end / skip omit exclude
 give the go-ahead / environment-friendly light permit authorize
 loaded / well-heeled wealthy/rich affluent / monied
 deal with handle manage
 pronto / a.s.a.p. now immediately
 muddy confuse obfuscate

Audience Knowledge

Understanding exactly how much details the audience to know is necessary so the the exactly amount of info is provided: not too much and also not too little. A safe assumption about a experienced audience is the they room busy and do not have time to check out unnecessary information. As well much information wastes the reader’s time, insults your knowledge, and also wastes the writer’s time. ~ above the other finish of that spectrum, composing too little assumes the audience knows much more than castle do. A lack of essential information in a message can lead come errors because of confusion, a garbage of time as readers request clarification or misunderstanding based upon lack the information. Remember, the goal of interaction is because that the receiver to understand info as plan by the sender. Understanding just how much information the receiver requires will help attain this goal.

Appropriately gauging your audience’s level of understanding extends come the language girlfriend use. Every profession has actually its jargon, i beg your pardon is the devoted vocabulary, shorthand password words, and also slang used amongst colleagues v the same self-control and specific education. Jargon conserves time by making fancy descriptions unnecessary and also is useful among people that speak the same language.

Audience Demographic

The ahead subsection explained the need of gauging your audience’s level of understanding in a offered subject area, and also that extends come their much more general level of education and other demographic determinants such as age, gender, religion, income, location, and so on. Demographic information is quantifiable, countable and also measurable.

Depending on your profession, you may have to resolve people of all ages and also levels of education and learning from elementary school children to the elderly. Understanding the audience’s demography data provides insight and allows a article to be adjusted to meet the wants and needs of a certain audience.

Try not to stereotype or make presumptions based on demographic information. World are complicated. Thus, being respectful towards an audience is key to reliable communication.

Writing skill 5.4 – Highlighting reader Benefits: whenever you have to convince one audience to usage a service, purchase a product, or monitor a policy, it’s effective to first explain what benefits the audience will obtain from the action. Performing audience evaluation can help define reader benefits for informative and persuasive messages by uncovering determinants that will motivate reader to perform or no to do an action. Composing reader-oriented messages way that you write from the view of the reader and also consider exactly how the reader will certainly decode the message? save WIIFM in mind once writing messages. Message that perform not prize the WIIFM inquiry are regularly ineffective in communicating a message. Figure 5.5 provides examples of sender focus and also reader focus sentences. In your opinion, which kind of sentence is much more effective at encouraging a leader to complete an action?

Figure 5.5: Messages the spotlight receiver services by using the “you” view (Business Communication, 2019).

Writing skill 5.5 – “You” View: The “you” see writing method is offered to transform messages from the sender’s view to the receiver’s perspective. Writing in the “you” watch literally way using the pronoun ‘you’ and ‘your’ to deal with the reader. This pronouns have a much greater impact when the blog post is hopeful or also neutral. Composing this means is counter-intuitive. That is more natural to compose from our perspective and to usage first-person pronoun to encode messages. However, sender-oriented messages that usage first-person personal and possessive pronoun (I, me, my, we, us, and also our) nothing register too with readers since that has tendency to come off as being self-involved. Clock the video, You perspective in service Writing, for a further explanation that the prestige of writing using the “you” view.



Key Takeaways


Knowing your audience by your size, position relative to you, knowledge of your topic, and demographic helps you handmade your message content and also style to meet their needs.Adapting your blog post to the audience rises your chance of efficient communication.Highlighting leader benefits and also using the “you” see are vital motivators.


1. List at the very least three demographic traits that apply to you. How does belonging to this demographic groups influence her perceptions and also priorities? Share her thoughts with your classmates.2. Remind a time when you began a brand-new job and also learned the jargon of the workplace—words the the general public wouldn’t recognize the meaning of, or at the very least the definitions you attached come them. Write a navard listing as countless such slang words together you can in addition to their meanings How friend would describe them come the public? re-publishing a few with the class. (If you’ve never been employed, usage a volunteer, sports, or other group task you’ve engaged in.)3. Review the last email you wrote. Is it composed formally or informally? If informal, review it so that it is more formal together if you were to send it to a manager or client; if formal, revise it so that it is an ext informal together if you were to send it to a reliable co-worker. (If you want your many recent email to continue to be private, search back for the one you wouldn’t mind sharing). Include the original email in your submission.



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Guffey, M., Loewry, D., & Griffin, E. (2019). Business communication: process and product (6th ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education. Retrieved indigenous

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Lublin, D. (2012, November 8). Do employers have a ideal to spy ~ above workers? The Globe and also Mail. Retrieved native

Meyer, C. (2017). Communicating because that results (4th ed.). Don Mills, ON: Oxford university Press. Retrieved from

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ethics of level language: exercise packet. The plain Language action and information Network. Retrieved indigenous

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