Hitting Your Target

By Cheril Lee

Hitting your target – how to move your audiences with your messages 

Before you send out any sort of public communication, you need to know who you’re talking to and how to send them messages they will not only read, but act on.

Ranking and Prioritizing your Audiences is an important piece of your communications strategy. If you want to be successful and get the word out, you have to know who you are speaking to and how to tell them what you want them to know.

For example, if you are talking to a group of chefs but use fishing analogies, you aren’t going to get very far.  Likewise, if you’re targeting Gen Z with your messages, you may not want to use Facebook as your primary modality for message dissemination.

What is a target audience?

These are the people you hope will be interested in your product, organization, service, charity, campaign or candidate.

In addition to targeting your known audiences, such as regular contributors, supporters or customers, it is also a good idea to take a look at who your peers or competitors tailor their messages to. This can be a great way to build out your list of potential audiences as you move through your strategic communications planning process.

Building a target audience’s profile

Think of this as you would a thesis statement for an English paper. This statement should encompass the traits you are looking for in your target audience. This is also called a “persona statement”.

Class-pr.com offers this template:

Our target audience is [gender] aged [age range], who live in [place or type of place], and like to [activity].


Our target audience is [gender] aged [age range], who earn [income range], , and need [a solution to problem] and need it [within timeframe].

Three things to think about when building the target persona:

  • Geography – Where are they?
  • What type of media do they read?
  • What are their defining traits or characteristics?

You should also check out the social media your targeted audience looks at and responds to, as this is a great way to find out who influences them the most.

That information can be leveraged to find other like-minded individuals or groups you can also target with your PR marketing communications.  Experts suggest leaving no stone unturned. Check out all the following social media platforms to look for prominent influencers:

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Linked In

How do you rank your audience?

Ask yourself these questions:

If you could only talk to one audience, which one would be the most important to you?

If you eliminated any particular audience from your PR efforts, would your efforts be improved or would they be more likely to fail? You want to be sure you’re on the same page with all audiences.

You should think about which audiences are top tier versus secondary. Top tier target audiences would be those that may be able to amplify your messages.

This worksheet can help you get started Audience Profiling Grid Worksheet.

The right planning approach can drive a successful public relations strategy, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and inspire the public to act.

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