Getting to Know the Audience

It’s hard to believe that February is halfway over, and that we’re nearing midterms as well. My last semester at Duquesne seems to be flying by! Over the past two weeks, I’ve had a lot of work with my internship to keep me busy, which seems to make the time move even faster.

Applications for the writing camp opened on the first of the month, and so far applications have been coming in at a decent rate. According to my advisor, John Fried, we’re on track compared to the last few years. In order to help spread the word of the camp, I composed an email to send to high school teachers and administrators throughout the area, detailing some of the exciting aspects of the camp and encouraging the teachers to share the information with their students. In writing the email, I had to make sure that I had a standardized email that would apply to each school in order to streamline the process. Thanks in part to an email template that last year’s intern created, I was able to easily write the email and start sending it out. (Thanks, Elsa!)

I’ve also been responding to more parent inquiries, ranging from questions about transportation to potential scholarship opportunities. Because I’ve been contacting school administrators, teachers, and parents, I’ve obviously had to write for a range of different “audiences,” and interact with many different personalities. Thankfully, I harnessed my ability to write for different audiences and interact with different people in the writing workshop courses I’ve taken. Depending on the assignment, my writing would have to range from fiction to poetry, or different styles of each genre. In the workshop phase of the class, there were twenty different voices with twenty different ideas of how to make things better. I think that being in that environment definitely taught me how to work with others and understand where their values and opinions are coming from. In hearing parent and teacher inquiries, I’m able to better understand where their concerns are coming from, and I can then improve on the way that I’m communicating information to them. One of the most important things I’ve learned in my time at Duquesne is to get to know my audience – my emailing work over the past few weeks has most certainly allowed me to do just that.

Looking forward to the rest of the month, I’m also going to be getting in touch with applicants as they begin the process of registering for the camp. I’m going to do my best to establish a good relationship with each of them so that they feel comfortable with and excited about coming to the camp. Just one more “audience” to get acquainted with!

Jamie Crow

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