Posted by: timiracobbs | October 10, 2016

How to Get a Mixed Audience to Read Up on Current Events


With all the media coverage of Syria in recent months, I was pleased to see an article that took the time to answer 5 Key Questions About Aleppo. I shared the article with four people in my community: a stay at home parent, a mid-career professional, a tenured professor, and a college freshman.

Because of their varying degrees of interest in current events, I focused on what value the article might bring to each of them. For the stay at home mom, it was context for some of the policy questions in the presidential debates she’s been watching. For the mid-career professional, it was interesting talking points for his next networking event. For the professor, it was ideas for how to explain the conflict to others. Finally, for the college freshman, it would make her smarter than a 3rd party presidential candidate.

Ok, that last one was a cheap shot, but it piqued her interest enough to read the article.

If I were sharing this article with all four of these individuals at once, I would start with the cautionary tale of Gary Johnson being thoroughly lambasted for not knowing what Aleppo was, and then focus on the common value of being prepared to discuss this important topic with anyone. I would share it via Facebook (where all of these generations still converge at the time this post was written), so they could respond to and engage with the article and with each other.

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