So you got the new iPhone update which includes the new emoji keyboard and you’re really excited about it.
However, you wouldn’t send your grandmother a text full of emojis when you know that:
- She doesn’t understand that means that you did not enjoy waking up this morning.
- Her cell phone doesn’t receive text messages.
You would simply pick up the phone and tell her that information. It doesn’t make sense to send her a message she doesn’t understand through a medium she would never see.
The same is true in public relations. Knowing who you’re speaking to – knowing your audience – is a critical part of the PR practice.
No matter what strategy or tactic you are using, the best message in the world won’t be effective unless it’s in front of the right people in a way they understand. From collateral to social media campaigns and press releases, knowing your audience is crucial.
For example, when choosing outlets to send press releases to, we choose the ones most relevant to the client’s audience. A food blogger isn’t going to want to know about an upcoming marathon race. A CEO of a company probably doesn’t read or watch the same material that a college student does.
It’s important therefore to know where your audience gets their information and what channels they frequent. Facebook seemed like it was going to be the end-all-be-all of social media, but did you know that today’s teenagers don’t see Facebook to be as important as their parents do? If your product appeals to a younger demographic, it’s important to follow the trends of social media platforms. In the long run, these teenagers will hold major buying power 5-10 years from now. How will we adapt?
It’s also important to ensure that your message and tactics are appropriate for you audience. Messaging that is humorous isn’t always going to translate well for serious non-profits or business people. Similarly, a text-only ad for a children’s breakfast cereal isn’t going to communicate to toddlers.
In public relations and marketing, knowing your audience is step 1 in a successful campaign.