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Guidebook 33 Putting It All Together 4 Chapter Putting It All Together: Communicating to Specific Audiences Let's face it: audiences differ. The audiences Everyone wants to know "what's in it for them." for various research projects and programs are By anticipating and answering that question for different because each has a unique stake in the the audience, you will highlight how research, outcome, and each will value the research in a projects, products, and processes align with the different way. When designing a new type of audience's values. Even communication with the hybrid vehicle, for example, carmakers want to best intentions can fail if it is directed toward the know what is useful and attractive to buyers, but wrong audience, so placing yourself in the shoes they also need to demonstrate that the vehicle of the audience and speaking to it from its point will not cost the company too much to produce of view, in understandable language and with and that it will stand out in a parking lot of its needs and wants in mind, are important steps competitors. to take when creating strategic communication plans. The same is often true for consumers of research results. The general public wants to know how the research will affect them, and the direct "Communicating the right benefits of implementing a new process. Program managers and research funders want to know the information to the right audience technical aspects of the research and whether not only affects the acceptance the financial costs of conducting research or implementing a new process will be in line with of your research, it also the benefits gained from that research or process. maximizes your time and your communication dollars." As a researcher or manager, your goal is to talk about those issues to the appropriate audience-- it would be useless to tell general consumers about the per-part costs of a new vehicle when This chapter outlines several audience categories they are concerned about the vehicle's safety vital to advancing transportation research. These features. Communicating the right information to include research program managers, elected the right audience not only affects the acceptance officials, policy makers (such as state and national of your research, it also maximizes your time and DOT officials and funders), the media, and the your communication dollars. general public. It provides practical tips and important considerations that will help ensure that the appropriate information is readily When talking about your projects and research, available for each audience. consider the communication goals and how you can market to the appropriate audience.