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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Copywriting for Hidden Audiences

I don't often write about writing. If you're looking for advice in that area, be sure to check out Copyblogger.

But, I had an interesting discussion with a new co-worker. In fact, with our new marketing copywriter. She's been a boon to our company, so I've been trying to help her with what I've learned about writing for our industry and company over the last 3 years.

When she asked me the other day about how to incorporate some feedback into a piece she'd written, my advice moved off the page and into a discussion of audience. In this case, the internal audiences that were doing the reviews.

I knew that some of the recommended changes by one department head would be contradicted by another. So, making the change now would only result in more changes when the content had to go back in. The same was true for some of the positioning, some of the key messages, and to a lesser extent, the actual words.

I'm not advocating that any writer shifts their focus away from the final audience that content is intended for. But once you've got the draft finished, and it's going into review, be aware of what your internal audiences are expecting. Getting familiar with their preferences takes time but will save you lots of time and headache when you find them out.