To get a message across you need to know to whom you are communicating. It makes the message clearer and understandable if you know your audience.
For instance, it wouldn’t make much sense for you to tell a group of surgeons how to do surgery, but it might be helpful for them to learn about new techniques. Knowing your target audience can make all the difference in how the message is interpreted.
There are a variety of different audiences that may receive your message. According to Colorado State University, in this online resource, there are three groups that can be coined an audience which are lay, managerial and experts. Understanding the makeup of each of these classifications can improve your writing and give you a direction as to what information to include.
The lay audience would need to have more background than the other two. In your message, you may want to give more detail to this type of audience. They may relate better to the human aspect, for instance, showing them how a person may or may not be affected by the topic in which you are writing.
The managerial audience would be described as a group of readers who need concrete information to make an informed decision. They may not need as much detail as the lay audience, but could use more hard numbers.
Those who would be called the “experts” will look for a targeted language. They are well-educated on the topic and expect to have information within the message that is detailed and specific to the theme. They have a certain expectation of the message and need the necessary information to back it up.
As you can see, writing for your target audience should not be a one size fits all approach. You need to take careful time in analyzing who your target is and learn about them. You may want to craft your message differently to a certain gender or demographic.
Assuming that everyone will understand what you are talking about shows some naivety by the writer. It may take some research to understand who will receive your communication, but taking the time to learn that may make all the difference in the impact of your message.