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Know Your Audience

Many things go into good writing, but before you even come up with that first line, you must answer one simple question:

Who am I trying to communicate to?

Who you are writing/speaking to has the potential to impact every word of your article. For example, if you're wanting to appeal to youth, you don't need to speak their language as that can quickly sound contrived or worse - an older person trying to crowd in on a young person's world. The key is, especially for youth, write or say whatever you have to say with passion, but keep it short and to the point.

Word choice is important. If you are writing a piece for the unchurched, you'll want to stay away from words they may not be familiar with such as "justification, atonement, sanctification, etc." Again, keep it simple.

Where is my audience?

Along with knowing your audience, it's also important to know where they can be found. Do they read the local newspaper, the church bulletin, the church bulletin boards, e-mails, the church Web site or listen to a local radio station? You might consider using Facebook, text messages or even Twitter to encourage followers to check out the news online (or in some other location). The idea here being, oftentimes where you place your communication is even more vital than how you write it.

Remember, first things first: Determine who you're trying to get the message to and then move forward from there!

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