Segmenting audiences

MPj04393430000[1]Please excuse me if this post is too elementary for you PR veterans, but — based on the comments of a media-turned-PR person the other day — I thought I’d briefly touch on one of the basics: Audience segmentation.

Here’s an example of how we segmented the internal audience at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services a few years back:

1. Executive Team

2. Middle managers

3. Supervisors

4. Frontline staff

Then, we developed research, planning, implementation and evaluation methods for each audience.For example, research with the Executive Team consisted of one-on-one interviews about communication, asking for their views on what worked and what didn’t. We surveyed middle managers. And we did separate focus groups with supervisors and frontline staff.

As time went on, we developed strategies for communicating within each segment. In one of three major programs areas, for instance, we identified “opinion leaders” and worked directly with them. In another, we pulled together a list of unit meetings and supplied talking points for supervisors to use in those meetings.

We continued to evaluate through surveys, focus groups and informal observation. We reported our findings and made adjustments  over time.

The same practice can be used to make your social media strategy more effective. The more you break down your audience into subgroups, the more effective you’ll be in achieving your goals and objectives. You’ll create strategies that deliver results as you implement them. And you’ll make adjustments based on what you learn as you evaluate. It’s a continuous improvement loop.

Hope this was helpful to you newbies. It was a good refresher for me as I continue to write a social media strategy for my employer.

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