Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mixed Messages and Understanding Your Audience

How often have you put together a piece of communication and failed to consider your audience. Unfortunately, I think this happens far too often! I know I am guilty of it, and I know that everytime I fail to consider my audience I have wasted valuable time and opportunity. While PR folks are trained in the art of mass communication - it is important to remember that every stakeholder group is made up of individuals who have unique backgrounds, ideas and beliefs. I know that this seems like PR 101. It is. However, I can think of a dozen examples off the top of my head from just the past month where I saw PR folks communicate the right message to the wrong audience.

One more thing that is different but related. I have often heard complaints that our bosses, other staff and clients don't appreciate or understand what we do. Before pointing the finger, consider for a minute that these folks make up just as important of a stakeholder group as investors, customers or government officials. We need to stop whining and start doing what we do best...communicating. Explain the role of PR and do it often. Then reinforce that message with hard evidence. It's amazing how often we forget this key point.


Anonymous Hugh McIntyre said...

Brilliant post! Too few of our PR colleagues understand the importance of targeting the right audience. Keep up the good work and good luck at your new job - we're watching you.

1:52 PM  

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