Who Isn’t Your Audience?

An infinite audience, photo by James Cridland (james.cridland.net)

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to let go of certain audiences? It’s tempting to include everyone.¬†And working in higher education (and especially in public higher ed), it can be even harder to let go, because isn’t everyone a learner, and isn’t it our job to reach out to everyone?

I’m constantly re-learning this lesson: Knowing who my strategic audience is, and also who it’s not, makes my stories and projects better.

It’s really hard to write a compelling story when the audience could be prospective students, current students, alumni, donors, parents, the media, faculty, staff, other institutions, other scientists, the local community, and the campus community.

It’s a little easier when it’s alumni. Or when it’s the media. Or when it’s donors.

It’s hard to let go. But it’s also the only way to win.