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Know your audience

By Melissa

In content land one of our mantras is ‘know your audience’.

Our client knew that its target audience of young people wanted to talk to someone about their alcohol and drug use, but didn’t want to do it on the phone. These people ‘live’ online, and that’s where they wanted to have these sorts of conversations (at all times of the day and night). So Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) decided to trial an online chat service that will be available 24/7.

We were invited to write some guidelines for style, voice and communicating via chat. The idea was to bring the nuance, empathy and understanding of spoken communication – tools used by phone counsellors – to the purely visual text communication. We researched and wrote some guidelines and led in-house workshops. Our participants were experienced phone counsellors and sophisticated communicators, and we enjoyed an energetic conversation about online communications, the idiosyncrasies of chat, style, and how to counsel remotely.