Effective communication must consider the audience, their preferred channel and medium

In this engagement type, our objective is on getting information out to an audience and so our central focus must be on how best to gain cut-through with our information, to achieve this we will need to understand our audience adequately to appreciate how our messaging will require adaptation, and we will need to deliver information in channels they use and through mediums that drive engagement, mediums such as visual representations, audio or written content.

Who is the target audience?

To ensure that your information is relevant, valuable and engaging, have a clear idea of who your audience is and what they are hoping to gain from participating. The tone of your message and level of detail may vary considerably across different types of audiences – for example, the general public, technical experts, investors, industry or government leaders. If you are targeting several audiences, consider how your content can address multiple needs.

Once you’ve considered your audience and content (or message), you also need to consider how you will connect and communicate information.

Which channels are actively used by your audience?

These channels could range from direct email to social platforms, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, each with their own nuance about driving traffic.

Although we often try to capture attention across multiple channels where we believe our audience is active, we are usually directing them to a single-source of our content, such as publications on our website. Think of these channels as the space to get attention; to nudge your audience to the content you actually want them to consume.

What medium can most effectively communicate your content?

Can your content be communicated through text or graphics or does it lend itself to audio or video formats? Or perhaps a combination?

For example, we knew our audience for the Climate Risk Research Collaboration would have limited capacity to complete pre-workshop reading. As it was critical to communicate several major pieces of work ahead of the collaboration, we decided to capture short interviews with key leaders and distribute links to the audio recordings (podcasts) via email along with additional links to presentations and other web-based resources for those interested in accessing greater detail.

We chose audio because we believed it gave our audience increased ability to access (and in fact we encouraged them) and to listen to the interviews whilst commuting, exercising or preparing a meal. Our intention was to prime the audience to think creatively about how they could consume the information amongst their busy schedules. This also provided an opportunity for us to engage with our audience and stay front-of-mind leading into the collaboration.

Curated Resources

Where to from here?

Ask – Engagement Type

Content – Audio, Video, Survey Tools

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