Same meaning, different language
The UK government is not covering itself in Brexit-smelling glory at the moment, so it’s with surprise that I find myself referring to it as a good example of what to do. In the UK, there are two public campaigns running at the moment that are attempting to do something very similar, but use fundamentally different language to achieve it.
Making Tax Digital is the first one. It is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for businesses (and some individuals) to get their tax right and keep on top of their financial affairs. In a nutshell, all businesses will have to use software to manage their finances from April.
The second is Go Paperless. In the UK everyone who owns a TV has to buy a TV license (this is the quirky way we fund the BBC). Clearly, it’s much more cost effective if this is done on-line.
Paperless vs digital. It’s a subtle but important difference, and demonstrates to my mind that the UK government gets how important it is to understand the audience. Those people still paying for their TV license with a paper-based form are likely to be tech laggards, and routinely feel left behind with the pace of digital change. I’ve definitely seen this 'digital = threat' phenomenon in focus groups. So, while one could say the government is making the TV license digital, they certainly don't describe it that way.
So what, dear reader? Think hard about your audience…because the way you describe what you want your audience to do may not be the way they need to hear it.