Sparking understanding

Shared values

Different audiences demand different messages. Connecting what you are trying to communicate with the shared values of your target audience is resonant.

“Shared values” are what we all share as human beings. Number one? Probably “fear of death.” Second could be loss of health, followed by loss of family, loss of home, loss of job and so on. As well as the hopes, aspirations, dreams, stereotypes and preconceptions we all share.

Where it gets really interesting (obviously) is that different audiences have different sets of shared values. Your sensitivity to that concept can determine how effectively you communicate your ideas.

So, for example, the shared values of someone in their 20s is far different from someone in their 60s. The shared values of an industry CEO are quite different from an elected official, from the head of an environmental organization, from an international diplomat and from the editor of a news organization.

Can you identify the shared values of your target audiences? What is important to them? What are their perceptions and preconceptions? What can your proposal or solution offer them, specifically?

By “framing” your idea in terms of the specific shared values of your target audience, that audience is more likely to think: “He understands me. He is talking to me.”