Margaret McGann

Building the strategic communications plan – target audiences

In communications and marketing, communications plan, planning, public relations, strategy on April 19, 2010 at 7:41 am

Now that you’ve defined the context, goals, objectives and desired results in your strategic communications plan, your next step is identifying and analyzing your target audiences.

You’ve already gathered the information you need to do this in your context section (i.e., opinion research, situational analysis or environmental scan).

Now take a good look at this info to:

  • Determine which tightly defined audiences you want and need to reach
  • Categorize your target audiences by greater or lower priority
  • Identify and segment your audiences (i.e., supportive, neutral, hostile, influencers, leaders)
  • Which media and type will best reach your audiences
  • Identify how your audiences want to receive communications
  • Define the best cost-effective communications vehicles and channels to reach each  audience

It’s very important to narrowly define your target audiences. Demographics, educational needs or gaps, geographical location, behavioural patterns, access to various forms of media, interests and activities can vary widely from one group to another. The more thoroughly you understand your target audiences, the easier it is to find and address them effectively.

A clear understanding of your target audiences and the best communications techniques to reach them is a key ingredient in deciding what the best strategic approach is.

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