Defining your target audience in 5 simple steps
The first step to conducting any kind of public education is to identify your target audience and to learn how to effectively reach and speak to them. If you focus on a specific target audience you will get better results. The following elements will help you get started:
Step 1: What is your purpose?
Above all your organization or group should be clear about the purpose of your initiative. Are you promoting community support for refugees? Are you working towards policy change? Hoping to mobilize more people around private sponsorship? Once that is determined, you can establish your desired outcomes.
Step 2: What is/are your desired outcome(s)?
- Increased local support for refugee sponsorship?
- Support from your local MP or City Council for a policy position?
- Decrease in prejudices and misinformation about refugees/newcomers in your community?
- More engagement with a younger demographic?
- Raising awareness and encouraging offline actions through social media?
Step 3: Who should your audience be and what do you know about them?
- Who should you address as your audience? (Bear in mind that it usually more effective to target those who are sympathetic or undecided, rather than those who are firmly opposed).
- What are their values, characteristics, the activities they enjoy, the causes they might support?
- What motivates their decisions? What moves them?
- Where are they most likely to go in order to get their information?
- What needs, challenges, fear and frustrations do they have?
Step 4: How and where can you connect with them?
- What media do they use?
- What outreach channels do you already have available? Are the people you are targeting more likely to get the information on social networks? If so, which ones?
- Are they most likely to respond to email or telephone outreach?
- Are they technologically savvy enough to engage through virtual meetings (ie. webinars)?
Step 5: Mapping audiences through persona creation
- A persona is your audience's various characters: going through the exercise of creating your personas will make audience definition an easy and simple process. This persona creation worksheet will help get you started.
Refer to this diagram by Trail of Papercuts to get a better sense of who you are trying to reach out to:
For more resources on audience definition, including survey platforms, advocacy guides and audience mapping, click here.