One key to the success of any PR campaign is delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.

While it’s tempting to aim for the masses, a targeted PR campaign ensures appropriate use of your resources and yields an optimal ROI. This edition of Muse explores the backbone of PR planning and execution – target publics.

What does a target public involve?

A target public or audience in PR and communications means a specific group of people you want to reach with your messages. The messaging might include sharing news about new products, iconic events, charity activities, and more.

Target publics are usually identified by demographics, psychographics, and behaviours. Demographics refers to age, gender, ethnicity, education level, religion, and income, while psychographics covers personality traits, attitudes, beliefs, interests, and lifestyles. Behaviours describe how your targets spend their time, such as their preferred sources of news, favourite shopping platforms, most popular podcasts and more.

Why is identifying target publics important?

It is almost impossible to target and reach every person or lifestyle through one campaign. Segmentation enables you to understand and timely adjust your messaging and PR activations to the audience’s varied preferences and behaviours.

Identifying a specific group provides a focus for your communication planning and execution. This includes selecting the most effective communication channels, identifying relevant media contacts, leveraging the right trends, and crafting messaging or campaigns that resonate with your audience.

Coca-Cola’s “Create Real Magic” is a prime example of effectively tapping into a trend that matters. With the rise of ChatGPT, Dall-E, Google Bard, and more in 2023, the campaign encouraged consumers to create artwork of their visions of Coca-Cola using AI tools. This resulted in a wealth of user-generated content, which bolstered the brand’s marketing efforts.

Key considerations to successfully manage your target publics

Identifying your audience is not a one-off procedure but an ongoing task in line with new trends, disruptions, lifestyles and consumption patterns.

Consistently collecting feedback is crucial for effective target public management. Communicators should closely monitor reactions and conversations about their creative outputs, such as social media posts or press releases. The insights collected enable informed decisions about better tailoring messaging to resonate with your targets.

Given the importance of managing fluid target publics, communicators should be able to keep themselves abreast of the key behaviours that potentially affect their communication planning and execution. Continue reading our next blog to learn more.