Research for PR Playbook: Your audience’s audience

It’s always tempting to go directly to researching your end client – whether procurement managers, HR directors, or IFAs. But put yourself in their shoes: are they more interested in the views of people exactly like themselves or those of their key stakeholders?

A great way to reach these audiences is to empower them with robust research about their own key audiences. You can provide actionable insight that will be engaging as well as enabling them to do their jobs better. For example, a survey of employee demands and attitudes across a certain industry could be invaluable for a HR director looking to make their benefits package more attractive.

The same approach can work for consumer brands too. If you’re interested in promoting deodorant to young men, perhaps the views of young women are more likely to be of interest! Just think about it from the perspective of your audience and ask yourself: what would they really like to know and from who?

(The added bonus of this approach is that reaching the audience of your audience is often far more cost-effective!)

Things to remember:

  • Getting the right people – try to do your research into the type of people you’re looking for so that you can be precise in your resulting insights and recommendations
  • Added insight – combining this kind of research alongside research of the target audience itself can help to give the story an extra dimension
  • Think like your audience – try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience: if they had the opportunity to put a question to a sample their clients, what would they ask?
  • Be useful – presenting shocking findings can make for good headlines, but providing grounded and genuinely useful insights can be just as important

Some examples