Rule of Thumb: Know Your Audience

I have learned a lot so far about public relations in school, and I’m sure there is even more to come. Of all of those lessons, I feel that the most important one involved a basic concept. Know your audience. If you want to get anywhere in PR, you need to know your audience. Although this seems like a straightforward notion, people often underestimate its importance and are unsuccessful. By having an understanding of your audience, you are able to tailor your message and methods of communication. This will make all the difference for your campaign.


You will need to know all demographic information about your target audience; these facts are the basics of their lives. This includes age, race, gender, income, and religion, among other things. Using the demographic information you find, you can use secondary research to find generalizations about these groups. If you were working on a campaign that targets Generation Y, anyone born from 1980-now, you would probably be using many new technologies such as Twitter or Facebook. Social media is a key source of information for this generation.


One thing to remember in today’s world is that your audience is changing and becoming more diverse. Research the majority, but also the ethnic minorities. Hispanics and African Americans are the minorities with the most rapid growth in the United States. Both groups have strong family ties, value friendships, and great appreciation for the cultures they belong to. If you are working on a multicultural campaign, one idea may be to have a spokesperson with the same cultural background as your target audience. They will appreciate this and be able to identify with someone of the same culture.


No matter who your audience is, you need to understand them. It will only benefit you to do your research and plan accordingly.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Laura Macenka.

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