Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to gain relevance with your target audience

The old joke from my days as a science writer was that the photo was too often the same: a man in a plaid shirt presiding over a metal box filled with wires.

That's how I came up with the mantra "Write about people with problems, not boxes with wires." As writing coach in technology PR for the past 10 years, I asked professional writers to think about the group of people that both journalists and marketing directors share an interest in, and write about them.

Customer, reader -- one and the same

Marketing directors care about the customer; journalists care about the reader. And guess what? That's the same person. Write about that person -- his problems, decisions and actions -- and the technology and messaging come along for a free ride.

But write about the technology or the messaging and ... zzzzz. MEGO sets in.

Keep eyes from glazing over

MEGO stands for My Eyes Glaze Over. (I got that phrase from a Los Angeles Times New Delhi bureau chief. )

This is how to gain relevance with your target audience: Write about the audience.