PR 101: Know Your Audience

I was originally drawn to the field of public relations because of the association to the public. I have always had a fascination for understanding people and their motives. I was so intrigued by human behavior in fact, I briefly considered becoming a mental health counselor ( I have half a master’s degree to prove it).  When you think about it marketing and public relations are not that much different from the fields of counseling and psychology.  Public relations is just taking the same approach to a wider scale, in looking at consumers as a whole, instead of psychoanalysing  one individual alone in a room.

So how do you get into the mind-set of the consumer and view public relations from their perspective to better reach the masses and connect your client to the consumer? Here are a few tips to put your consumer hat on and think like the demographic you are trying to reach.

1. Read like the Consumer – If you are trying to reach moms, then think like a mom! Put your mom jeans on (okay don’t go that far) and read those publications and blogs they’d find of interest. Visit the top-tier mom blog sites and grab every magazine geared towards mothers you can get your hands on. What are some of the trends you are seeing? How are products being displayed and related to this demographic? That is where your client’s brand needs to be!

2. A Day in the Life  of your Consumer – Let’s stick to the mom demographic.   What does Mom’s  day involve? Taking kids to school and soccer practice? What are her household responsibilities? You don’t have to step too much out of your element for this task. Even when you are going to the grocery store, how do you think you’d shop differently if you had a family to care for (cue mild anxiety attack)? Role play here – you’d probably be more inclined to hunt for deals, or would you still have a strong brand loyalty if your children were partial to a particular brand?

3. Family and Friends – Call your mother! Odds are no matter the demographic you are trying to reach, either yourself, a family member or friend may fall into this demographic. Again, sticking with moms, call up your madre, or maybe an aunt or friend with kids.  Be frank with them about what kind of insights you are looking for and you’d be surprised at the knowledge you can obtain. Everyone feels a sense of pride in the fact that they can be an expert in some way, and listen intently  and ask relevant questions to get yourself in their mindset and better serve your client.

What other ways can you think of to get a better perspective on your client’s audience?


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