The Communications Burger
The Communications Burger
What you need to think about before you take a bite.
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Bread Choice - Audience
When you begin making a sandwich, you start with your bread. Similarly, when you come to create a message, you must start with your audience.
  • Who are you talking to?
  • What are they like?
Just as it is difficult to have two differ­ent types of bread in the same sandwich, it is often hard to speak to two or more audiences in the same communication piece.
So who are you trying to speak to / reach / impact with your message?

Consider: What defines them?
What kinds of responsibilities does each group hold? What kinds of emotions would they be moved by — will a free ice cream move them, or something like more safety in your car for your children’s sake?
Are they: parents, government officials, youth, legislators, funders, partners

Consider: Time & Language:
How do these people spend their time? What is their environment like? Where do they “hang out”? What are their passions and motivations? What are their struggles and worries? What is their lifestyle like? What language style would have most impact and speaks to them?
Are they: students, office workers, field workers, low income households

Consider: Worldview, beliefs & perceptions
What are their beliefs and perceptions of the world? Who do they identify with? Preconceived opinions and beliefs define a part of their identity, and you need to know what those opinions are so that your message doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
For example: consider the difference between a Tea Party member and an occupy
Wall Street activist. Their worldviews are quite different.

Patty – Message
The meat of the matter
What is the message you are trying to get across? What is the meat of your subject? Why should they be interested? Why are you putting this particular patty with this bread? What’s in it for them? Is it relevant to them? Different kinds of patties are suitable for different kinds of people. Some people are unique and only something new will get to them (like an innovative bun/patty combination). Why is this patty the one you have chosen? Is that important to who you are trying to speak to?

Toppings – Catering to tastes
You don’t need every single topping on your burger to make it tasty. Use your best judgment when it comes to the modes of persuasion and tone in order to compliment the bread and patty; your audience and the message. Your message needs to be relevant and have a complimentary zing. What will attract your audience? Is it emotion? Is it practicality? Your burger can be “fine” without toppings but it won’t stand out of the clutter and it won’t be special. Toppings layer up your message to make it richer, deeper, and more suited towards your audiences’ tastes. It can be the selling point — the difference between choosing a mushroom swiss and a jalapeño jack. You want to make your message persuasive in the right way.

Packaging - Dissemination

Where are you presenting your message in order to reach your audience? Are you wrapping your sandwich in foil with your logo or are you taking a picture of it and placing it in their ­favorite magazine? Is a brochure going to cut it? Or is a billboard? Or an event like a cookout going to be best? Or is it on TV?

Consider which media are best suited to reach your particular audience:
Billboards,  brochures, bus sides, posters, flyers, postcards, video on tv, video on web, internet, email, direct mail, presentation, conference, event/booth at mall