#94 Virginia Haussegger – communicate from an audience perspective
Virginia Haussegger AM is an award-winning journalist with over 25 years’ experience in news media. She spoke to David Pembroke about the need for simple clear language, and understanding how your audience will receive your message. Virginia has held senior reporter and presenter roles at Channel 9, the Seven Network, and the ABC, and has experience in corporate and strategic communications. She is an adjunct professor at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra and manages a busy portfolio of not for profit and community engagements. In 2014, she was made a member of the Order of Australia, for services to the community in women’s rights, gender equity, and the media.
In this podcast they discuss:
- the Order of Australia
- dramatic changes in the news media
- the post-truth world
- how narrowcasting can be bad for the consumer
- everyone needs to be a communicator, not just the comms team
- the continued use of formal language and jargon in government
- the first question you should ask at a press conference
- understand your audience – stand in their shoes
Listen to the podcast
Virginia Haussegger on understanding your audience:
“Understand who your audience is. Then get out of your chair, and take your shoes off, and go and sit in their chair, stand in their shoes. See what you’re doing from their perspective. Literally go and stand in their shoes, and look back at what you’re doing, and see how the audience might understand it, or comprehend it, or what they might be wanting from it. When you flip something around and try and see it from an audience perspective, that changes the nature of your communication. So often organisations will send out key messages that are organizationally oriented. It’s all about them. It’s all about what the organisation might do, or say. It’s not actually directed at the target audience, so it’s not directed specifically at what the audience might want.
I’m always saying flip it around and think about your key message being recipient-oriented. It’s got to be about the person. It’s not about you, the organisation. Understand where your audience is standing and sitting to see, in a sense, how your message is going to be received by them.”