Know your audience?

In my final year of high school, John Fowles, my Science Communications teacher, drilled into us that all good writing (and all good communication) involves knowing your audience. Know your audience, he would boom in his stentorian voice. Over and over and over.

So tonight Catherine and wee Oliver go to their first meeting of the La Leche League, a local breastfeeding support group (and an excellent international organization to boot). During the go ‘round at the start of the session, everyone is introducing themselves and their child and Catherine introduces Oliver accordingly.

That’s not wee Oliver is it?” Catherine is asked, echoing the term of endearment I reserve for Oliver and use in public only here online.

Why yes,” responds Catherine. And it then becomes obvious that among the members of the the audience for this website are the nursing mothers of Charlottetown and area. Or at least some of them.

If you add that to my mother and father, three brothers, my mother-in-law, an old college professor, several far-flung friends, clients in two countries, ruffians from silverorange and Kevin O’Brien (to say nothing of the people who accidently stop by while searching for places to stay in PEI or New England) I have the daunting challenge of writing for an audience that, on any given day, I have a fairly good chance of boring or offending one section of or another.

The answer to this quandry, of course, is to simply write about that which intrigues me, in a style I find comfortable. And then let the chips fall where they may.

On an average day there are about 314 of you stopping by for a read. Welcome, nursing mothers, family members and strangers all.

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