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Computer skills

Why your audience's computer skills matter

Jan 3, 2017

As communicators we’re always trying to stay current on the latest tools in the digital space. Often, we direct our clients to utilize these digital tools to reach their audience – whether it’s through social media, the latest trending app or a different way to utilize a website.

Now in 2017, the digital landscape allows people to access information within minutes – sometimes even seconds. With this technology available to us every day, the idea of instant access is easily taken for granted. So often we assume our customers, clients and users are familiar enough with technology to act on the call to action we’ve promoted.

And you know what they say about assuming…

According to data collected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 95 percent of the population in the United States doesn’t possess high computer skills. In fact, 43 percent of computer users rate at level one or below, meaning they’re only comfortable completing tasks that require little to no navigation with few steps. Tasks that fit under level one include “Replying-all” to an email or deleting an email message from the app.

An article published by the Nielsen Norman Group outlines the results of the study. It states, “If you want to target a broad consumer audience, it’s safest to assume that users’ skills are those specified for level one.”

So what does this mean for public relations professionals?

Now, more than ever, it’s important to identify your target audience. Who do you hope to reach? What’s the best resource to reach those people? Is your call to action even feasible for your audience?

Keep in mind that the information you’re providing needs to be easy to find, with minimal click-throughs and a one step process that’s easy to understand. Without these pieces of the puzzle, you could be reaching only five percent of your audience.

To read the full article, click here.

Tags: technology, digital tools, computer skills