Part 3: Planning messages
3.6 Audience types
Identifying your primary, secondary, and hidden audiences
Your audience is the person or people you want to communicate with. By knowing more about them (their wants, needs, values, etc.), you are able to better craft your message so that they will receive it the way you intended.
Your success as a communicator partly depends on how well you can tailor your message to your audience.
Your primary audience is your intended audience; it is the person or people you have in mind when you decide to communicate something. However, when analyzing your audience you must also beware of your secondary audience. These are other people you could reasonably expect to come in contact with your message. For example, you might send an email to a customer, who, in this case, is your primary audience, and copy (cc:) your boss, who would be your secondary audience. Beyond these two audiences, you also have to consider your hidden audience, which are people who you may not have intended to come in contact with your audience (or message) at all, such as a colleague who gets a forwarded copy of your email.
This chapter is an adaptation of Part 1: Foundations in the Professional Communications OER by the Olds College OER Development Team and is used under a CC-BY 4.0 International license. You can download this book for free at http://www.procomoer.org/.