Your Audience Identifier

This includes a downloadable asset.

You’re working on your case statement (or alumni magazine, or viewbook, or website, or financial aid brochure, etc.) and­—good for you!—you are making great progress. You’re writing solid copy, selecting great images, designing creative layouts. But think for a moment. When you complete this project, who will be on the receiving end of your efforts. For whom are you creating this great work?

Let’s take your alumni magazine as an example. Who receives this? Alumni, of course. But what do we know about them? Where do they live? How old are they? What do they do? What are their hobbies? Where do they travel? How much do they care about your school?

Would others read this magazine? What about colleagues on campus? Faculty? Staff? Administrators? Students?

How about trustees? Donors? Parents? Does it sit on the coffee table in the admissions office? Is it mailed to state legislators? Does the president send it to peers?

“Hang on,” you say, “that’s a lot of audiences.” And you are correct. Your alumni or flagship magazine likely reaches thousands of people with whom your institution has a relationship.

One of the best places to start your coherence journey is to consider and know your audiences. Why, you ask? If you don’t know your audience, you won’t have relationships. And without relationships, you won’t have exchange (donations, applications, deposits, readers, site visitors and the like). It’s not enough to have something to say; you also need someone to listen to, hear and understand you. And you need other people that you hear, too. Without listening, you won’t know if what you have to say—or sell—has any value.

So let’s begin by making a list of every audience you reach. Just start making a list. We’ve provided a worksheet just for that.

To download the worksheet

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Rick Bailey

Rick is the Principal and founding partner at RHB.