Reaching Your Targets

One of the first steps in strategic public relations is identifying who you want to reach with your message. Who are the priority groups of people you need to reach to make an impact? To most people, audiences and publics are the same, but from the perspective of PR, they are different. Audiences are merely people who pay attention to a particular medium of communication and receive messages through it. A public is a group of people who share a common interest in a specific subject, such as stockholders, employees, or community residents. Each group is concerned with a common issue: the price of the stock, the wages of the company, or the building of a new plant. Of course, another type of public may be customers – people who receive the products or services of an organization.

We need to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a general public. Each public is linked with an organization in a unique relationship. So, it’s important to recognize that relationship and reinforce it regularly.

But, before you can relate to your key publics and target them effectively, you need to understand the qualities they possess. Consider the nature and characteristics of your key publics. What are the major wants, interests, needs, and expectations of each public? What benefits can you offer this public? What are the advantages your product or service can offer this public, or how you can help satisfy its need or solve its problems?