Understanding the type of audience in writing is the first step to gaining the required attention. The audience of professional writing is the intended or potential reader(s). In writing, your audience is the most important consideration. You adapt your writing to meet the needs, interests, and backgrounds of the readers who will be reading your writing.
The lack of audience analysis and adaptation to audience needs and expectations are major causes of most problems you find in professional writing.
Audience Analysis is the process of breaking something larger down into smaller parts. In audience analysis, you are looking for traits that your audience possesses in order to better appeal to them in your written or spoken communication. Every audience has expectations, prior knowledge, and experience.
When they read your documents or listen to your speech, they have a purpose or reason for doing so; whether for leisure or work. They also have a wide range of characteristics like social class, gender, age, race and ethnicity, cultural background, and language that make them unique and diverse.
Types Of Audiences In Writing
One of the first things to do when you analyze an audience is to identify its type or types. The following describes 4 main types of audience in professional writing:
Non-specialists: This is the most common and primary audience in writing. Non-specialists have the least technical knowledge of all. They want to use the new service/product to accomplish their tasks; they want to understand the new power technology enough to know whether to vote for or against it in an upcoming election, or they may just be curious about a specific technical matter and want to learn about it.
Executives: This type of audience in writing make business, economic, administrative, legal, governmental, and political decisions about the products of the experts and technicians. Executives are likely to have as little technical knowledge about the subject as non-specialists. These readers usually represent a secondary audience.
Experts: This type of audience in writing knows the theory, business, organization, subject, or product inside and out. They designed it; they tested it; they run it; they know everything about it. Often, they have advanced degrees and operate in academic settings or in research and development areas of the government and technology worlds.
Technicians: This type of audience in writing build, operate, maintain, and repair the items that the experts design and about which they theorize. Technicians possess highly technical knowledge, but of a more practical, hands-on nature than theoretical experts.