One of the first components of creating any type of PR strategy is identifying your target audience. The audience is your number one concern when creating a PR plan. If you don’t know who your audience is, you may reach a different group of people than you initially intended, or you may not reach people at all. By classifying a clearly defined target group, you can strategize based on its characteristics.
Here are four tips to identify your target audience and help get the word out about your company to the right people, in the right ways:
Start with current customers
If your company is already up and running, start by taking a look at who is already using your business. Why did they choose you? How did they hear about you?
Lay out the demographics
What are the characteristics of your target audience? Create a list of information that your target customer would possess including age, gender, job type, location, income, marital status, ethnicity, etc. You also should identify other characteristics such as interests, lifestyle, hobbies and values.
Find out what media they are consuming daily
Where is your target group getting its information? Are they reading the local newspaper? Do they scan their Twitter feed throughout the day? Do they watch the local, nightly news? What types of media do they trust?
Research your competitors’ customers
Some secondary research about your competitors’ customers could give you insight into what they are looking for in your industry. Do they have the same demographics as your customers, or are they slightly different? What do customers value from those companies?
After creating a target audience profile, you can then start to develop your PR tactics to directly reach that group. It is also important to keep in mind that your target audience may change over time, depending on changes to your business plan, within the industry or how you’ll reach them in a constantly evolving media environment. Keep reviewing your target profile to make sure that you are connecting with the right audience.
This article originally appeared on LT Public Relation’s blog on July 9, 2014.