Defining your audience
In PR, defining your audience is your key to success. Otherwise you’ll just be shouting out into the abyss with no one paying attention to you. Imagine a world where your communications are relevant, timely and reaching exactly the right people. That is the dream world we want to create.
Defining Your Audience
Working out who to target and why?
“Your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person-a real person you know, or an imagined person-and write to that one.” John Steinbeck
Here’s three things to consider when defining your audience:
1 -Know your business
Before you go into this, it is key to define your own business. There’s no point just saying ‘we want to go viral’ or ‘we want to be on all the front pages’ as this doesn’t have any clear target. To define your own business, you’ll need to have an honest look at what kind of business you are. Maybe you are a B2B (business to business) organisation, in which case it is highly unlikely you’ll be targeting the tabloid newspapers with your campaigns or stories. Likewise, if you are a consumer product, it is unlikely that trade publications will be top of your list. So this is where you can work out what kind of media your customer is engaging with.
From this you can make a huge list of target publications which can also include celebrities, influencers and opinion formers.
2 – Research
Once you have your list of targets or sectors you want to look at, the next step is to research your market. If this is the media, grab the newspaper or magazine. Start to think about how exactly your product or service could be relevant, look at the type of content they’re looking for and check out journalists writing or editing the pages you think you could feature in.
If it is a journalist, opinion former, an influencer or celebrity, start to follow them on social media. I recommend you engage with any of your targets informally (and thoughtfully) for at least three months before the idea of a direct message even crosses your mind.
You’re starting to build relationships that last. By the time you’ve completed your research you’ll know how to target your audience as you will know them really well by this point. This ensures it is a much more bespoke approach rather than a cut and paste / spray and pray approach.
Remember to consider:
Media – print and online
Influencers – bloggers
Opinion formers (experts in their field)
YouTube / IGTV stars
3 – Segmentation
Finally segmentation is a really good idea to divide your targets and work out what kind of content they will prefer. Perhaps you divide your list into long leads vs short leads (timelines will be important with pitching). You might also want to segment your consumer from your trade publications for example or split out your influencers from your testers.
You’ll find that consumer titles will need samples to shoot your products or cut outs to feature it, trade may prefer commentary pieces or trend insights and influencers / celebrities will need to physically use your products – so everyone is different. Keep this information all on a spreadsheet so that you don’t get lost and you know who you have checked in with.