Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Water Cooler Worries

What is a water cooler conversation? Dictionary.com states that a water cooler conversation is an “informal conversation among office staff.” I believe that the word office is not needed in this definition because informal conversations take place in retail and factory work the same way that they would in an office setting.

What drew me to this topic was that this was brought up as an issue in a recent review of my company’s policies. We may have misused the definition of the topic, our problem was hallway conversations. Two employees would see each other in the hallway and they would talk about a current conversation and move on, but everyone else on that project would be left out.

This is not the typical issue with water cooler conversation. Most of the places that I looked, water cooler conversations were viewed positively. Talking to other employees allows people to recharge their batteries, build relationships and if used correctly can raise work place morale.  When the conversations are negative about other employees or if major negative news about the company is delivered with this method, the workplace morale can be drastically brought down.  Overall in general I believe that water cooler conversations are good for companies and can be beneficial for employees.

By Zach Walker, Mechanical Engineering Technology- Purdue College of Technology

Maintain the Message

Properly communicating the company message is the responsibility of everyone within an organization, from the receptionist on up to the CEO.  But how do you ensure that the person answering the phones is speaking the party line?

To guarantee a consistent message tape answers to frequently asked – and crucial questions – near the main phone bank.  But don’t post and forget it!  Check it on a monthly basis and update as necessary.  In challenging economies, information often grows stale quicker than you can say audit.

Also, provide updated facts and figures on a regular basis.  Communicate any noteworthy information to the receptionist and his/her backup ASAP – sometimes their need to know is actually more immediate than middle managers who aren’t necessarily speaking with the public and customers on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Additionally, an intranet is a great tool for spreading the word to everyone while maintaining a consistent message.  For it to work and be effective, however, someone needs to commit to keeping it updated on a regular basis.  Also, the information needs to be pertinent, otherwise employees will soon recognize it as a waste of time and will readily drop it out of their information line up.

Last but not least, don’t forget those all important water cooler conversations.  Monitor the company grapevine and if the message you hear is NOT consistent with the message you want, it may be time to make a more concerted effort to communicate with employees.  Remember, if YOU don’t provide the information, someone else will.

– Robin Fritz, Adjunct Lecturer, Division of Business, Indiana University-Columbus

As Grammar Goes, Verbs are the Spice of Life

Inexperienced writers often suck the very life out of their prose by taking energetic verbs and turning them into dull, lifeless nouns.  Consider the following:

Example:    Today’s stock price elicited a disappointed reaction among the shareholders.

Revision:    Today’s stock price disappointed the shareholders.

 Example:    It is our expectation that we will see productivity improvement when the new computer system comes online.

Revision:     We expect more productivity when the new computer system comes on line.

 When revising a business report, press release, employee newsletter or company-wide email, be sure to look specifically for those weak noun structures and replace them with vigorous, active verbs.  Not only will you gain clarity in the process, but your writing will be leaner too.

– Robin Fritz,  Adjunct Lecturer, Indiana University-Columbus

When to Sign a Memo

The following is an article written by X204 Business Communication Adjunct Lecturer Robin Fritz for eHow.com’s Money section:

To sign or not to sign?  That is the question that often arises when busy managers set out to write a memo.  Unlike business letters – which clearly require a signature – memos are a different animal altogether, and whether or not to sign them isn’t clear to many young managers just starting out in the business world.  The following tips, however, will help shed some light on whether to sign or not to sign. 

Know the difference between a memo and a letter.  Letters written on company letterhead are external documents – they tend to go to smaller outside audiences, such as clients, suppliers, industry regulators, etc. – making a signature a required element.  Memos, however, are internal and usually go to a company’s employees – which may include hundreds of people.  In practice, memos DON’T include a signature.  But sometimes managers are wise to include their initials next to their name in the header.  The real trick is knowing when and if to do so.

Know the purpose of a memo.  Second to email, memos are a primary tool used by managers to share information with employees, whether it be simple announcements or key information regarding changes in policies.  In short, some memos tend to be more sensitive in nature than others.

How sensitive is the information?  Routine memos – those that deal with non-controversial topics – make up the bulk of memos sent by managers.  These types of memos rarely require follow up and tend to be taken at face value.  Other topics, such as corporate downsizing measures, reduced health benefits, etc., can be difficult for employees to hear and, as a result, their validity may be challenged.  When the topic is sensitive, the memo writer may initial the memo to add validity to the contents.  But even then, initials are NOT required.

How many people will receive the memo?  Again, memos sometimes go to hundreds of people and even initialing them may be a time consuming task.  In the business world, time is money – and adding even initials may be a large undertaking.  When deciding whether or not to initial a memo, ask, what value is being added with this task?  If none, skip it.

Tip: Signature blocks signal to readers that they’ve reached the end of a letter.  With memos, however, telegraph the ending by using transitional expressions highlighting the conclusion, such as “In closing” or “Lastly.”

Warning: Remember, whether you’re writing a memo or a letter, with or without a signature, the content can be a legally binding document.  Never dash off any correspondence in haste – you could get yourself, and your company, in hot water.

 http://www.ehow.com/how_6110660_sign-business-memo.html