One of my students (a high-school guy) said that to me: “Nobody ever gets shot on the Hallmark Channel.” Exactly! It’s not their audience. Knowing your audience is a key part in selling things, including writing. Granted, I don’t know about the Hallmark Channel–I’m not their audience, except for being a woman. Maybe people really do get shot there, but I’m sure, if it happens, it’s only bad guys or for a good reason, and there is forgiveness all around.
Henceforth, two wildly different examples of knowing your audience:
Example #1: It’s a Chamber of Commerce buffalo, isn’t it? Actually, it’s a random buffalo I found in Custer State Park outside of Custer, SD, but he looks like he was planted there to sell the place, down to that raised right front foot. He needs a coffee can next to him that says “tips”, or the state of South Dakota should have him on retainer for standing around like that. He read his audience (people who drive around looking for SD wildlife) quite well.
Example #2: Hyperbole and a Half. I have no idea why I like this blog, except for the fact that her screechy insanity appeals to me more than almost anything I read these days. I think her audience is people who *want* to be crazy-ass weirdos who scrawl funny drawings about stupid stuff heaped with sarcasm and wild amusement *but have no guts to do it*. Like me. I hope Allie Brosh won’t come after me for swiping her drawing, hopefully not since I only said good things.
On a related note, I did see fish at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago that posed for cameras–swam right up to the glass and showed people their best sides and smiled in a fishy way. I was floored. So maybe this buffalo posed too, I don’t know. But I’d guess not. I always figure a buffalo could give a fsck about a camera, because he’s huge, powerful and able to trash a car in three seconds. He knows he’s better that you, tip jar or not.