Audience analysis is an important issue to which all writers should pay a lot of attention.
Because if your writing (whether it’s an article, a report, a book, or a technical document) is not appropriate for its intended audience, then it’ll turn into a waste of time, energy, and resources.
So, in theory, you have to make sure what you are writing fits the intended audience well.
A Big Problem
But here is a problem, a BIG problem: most of the time a writer is not 100% sure who his or her audience is.
Especially if you are working for a corporation or are a part of a writing team, you’d have an approximate idea about the nature of your audience but not a perfect one.
So what do you do?
My answer: you apply approximation methods to increase the chances that your writing would be appropriate for your audience. It’s a matter of degrees.
You may never create something that is 100% appropriate for your audience but by applying the time-tested approximation methods you will hopefully get close to that lofty goal.
No Access to End-Users
For one thing, if you are working in a corporate environment, you as a writer may not have good access to the end-users and customers, and for very understandable reasons. Corporations usually do not want their writers to get in touch with the customers directly lest they say something that would disrupt the sales or marketing approach. Corporations need to control their brand and positioning. Thus customer relations are left to professional staff specialized in that role rather than business and technical writers.
If, however, you are working for an individual client, then you would have a much higher chance of understanding who the audience is and deliver a document perfectly fit for that audience of one-person.
One of these approximation methods is testing the readability of your text with a READABILITY INDEX. There are dozens of such indexes including the…