Goal:  A first look at audiences, a key concept in the course 

Timeframe: About 1 hour 

Take a look at ONE of the two videos listed here, which are about much different, but important, issues.   Pick one and answer the questions that accompany it. This should be about two paragraphs, single-spaced.   

How this Course Looks at Audiences

This course looks at audiences in three different levels:  Your primary audience is the person or small group that is a primary gatekeeper, or the first person/group to green-light a project.  That primary audience may contribute approval, funding, or other resources.  But they are first — without that support the project is not likely to go forward.  The secondary audience supports that first group but is larger.  That group would support the primary audience’s decision.  

The tertiary audience is the person who will read or use the end product or service but does not design it.  This is often a very large group, or much larger than the primary or secondary group. 

As writers, our approach to the audience is not shaped in a vacuum – it is often a complicated mix of our own perspectives, identity, and prior experiences.  But it doesn’t just start there — most projects have to get support or buy-in to get to the finish line.  As writers and as professionals, understanding the audiences helps get the project into its final form.  It’s also key to shaping that writing around the various audiences who need the information we have. 


This is a public service announcement about a common issue on American roads — distracted driving.  (1:35 minutes)



If you pick this one, what clues do you have about the tertiary audience, i.e., the people who would view and respond to this? Who is the primary audience, i.e., the person or group who might have given it the first OK to get it started?  

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