Example: Developing Audience Profiles

Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative

 A woman, Ruth Adebayo, is referred by a family planning mobilizer during a visibility parade near Orolodo primary health centre in Omuaran township in Nigeria’s central state of Kwara. © 2012 Akintunde Akinleye/NURHI, Courtesy of Photoshare

A woman, Ruth Adebayo, is referred by a family planning mobilizer during a visibility parade near Orolodo primary health centre in Omuaran township in Nigeria’s central state of Kwara. © 2012 Akintunde Akinleye/NURHI, Courtesy of Photoshare

Urban Dwellers – General Audience

Audience Profile:Expensive crowded housing, living at close quarters to the neighbors, long commutes on crowded buses through congested streets and high prices for food, utilities and other daily necessities are the realities of life for many residents in Nigeria’s cities. However, city dwellers enjoy a bustling, modern environment with access to many of the amenities of modern life, including schools, health care, markets, entertainment and other recreation. Motorcycles and scooters are a common form of transport other than public buses.

Young Unmarried Women

Audience Profile: In urban Nigeria, young unmarried women typically live with relatives, either immediate family members or aunts and uncles, in the city. They work to help support their family, with the type of work largely depending on family educational and economic background. Many young unmarried women hold administrative support positions in companies and small businesses or work in retail or customer service positions. These young women see themselves as modern and aspire to a life with modern amenities such as cell phones, attractive clothing, and jewelry.


Rebecca is a responsible and practical 25-year old bank clerk living in the urban area of Pappe with her mother and two siblings, Tunde and Mary. As the oldest child and the only professional in a single parent household, Rebecca carries most of the responsibility for the family’s upkeep, including rent, food, clothing, and school fees. Rebecca aspires to be well off not just for the sake of an extravagant lifestyle but more to ensure that she can provide her family with all their wants. She is inspired by TV programs such as the Oprah Winfrey show which guides her life decisions and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” which gives her hope. She is fascinated by strong independent women such as Michelle Obama and Dora Akuyinili and believes that one day she will be like them. Rebecca spends her limited free time with her boyfriend Patrick and on occasion socializing with some of her girlfriends. Although Rebecca does not want kids right now, she is currently not using family planning; however, there have been a couple of occasions where she has had to use emergency contraceptives.

Young Unmarried Men

Audience Profile: Young men arrive in the city to earn money and return some to their families. They may have a variety of living arrangements, with relatives or a small room in a shared space, all of which are designed to save as much money as possible. Types of work vary depending on education level, but the reality is that good jobs can be hard to come by for young men and it can take a while to feel settled and secure in the city. While making ends meet can be difficult, the opportunities of city living are great. There are plenty of places for all income levels to relax with friends in the evening to enjoy good times as the city buzzes all around.


Danjuma is a 21 year old Okada rider living alone in a rented room in Dutse. Danjuma is a huge fan of Manchester United and his weekend is mostly spent watching the premier league at TV/video halls. On weekends when Manchester or a close rival isn’t playing, Danjuma takes his girlfriend to the Millennium Park. Danjuma has recently purchased a phone and is obsessively trying to figure out and learn about its various functions. He has even programmed his phone to change ring tones with each caller. Danjuma is currently not thinking about family planning; however he does use condoms for the purpose of preventing HIV.

Younger Married Couples (Lower SES)

Audience Profile: The younger married couple feels social pressure to have babies and raise a family. It is the tradition and it is expected for all but the most educated couples. Often a pregnancy can be the motivation for a marriage among young adult couples. Young couples feel a lot of “life pressure” from a variety of sources. It can be hard to make ends meet for young couples. Good jobs are hard to come by and job security is uncertain. Housing rents are high in the city and spaces are small. Since family may not be close at hand, there are additional expenses for childcare and household help, or maybe a younger cousin is living with the couple to help out. However, it means more people to feed and support for the young couple that is just starting out. On top of that they are trying to save for household items such as cooking utensils, furniture, electronics, and hopefully some transport so they can enjoy a better life in the city.

Andrew and Stella

Andrew, 25, and Stella, 22, are a young couple with two kids, Ben and Grace, who are respectively 3 and 2 years old. They met in high school when Andrew was a senior and Stella a sophomore. After a short dating period, Stella got pregnant and thus had to dropout of school. Soon they got married and moved into a one-room apartment in a face-me face-you complex located in the urban slum areas of Kakuri. Albeit this unfortunate incident, both are trying hard to make the best out of it. Andrew has through time moved up the chain in the garage he works at and is now considered to be one of the best mechanics. Combined with Stella’s earning as a trader, they have a monthly income of about 40,000 Naira. To supplement their income, Andrew has purchased an Okada that he rents out. This allows Stella to indulge in some new jewelry and clothes on special occasions and Andrew to maintain his occasional partner.

Andrew and Stella have a very moderate lifestyle, most evenings are spent watching TV after dinner. They are avid followers of the TV program “I pass my Neighbour”. On weekends, Andrew likes to watch his football, however if there are ceremonies to attend or families to visit that is given a priority. Andrew and Stella are members of trade unions and interact closely with their peers. Religion also plays a major role in both their lives and they closely try to follow the teaching of the religious leaders. Andrew aspires to own his own garage and set up a corner shop for Stella. Both feel one of the reasons for their current situation is lack of higher education and thus aspire to give their children a much better education than they had. Given their current circumstances, Stella is not ready to have a third child; however, she is not aware of family planning methods or where she can get services. Andrew is also not aware of family planning however he does use condoms when he has sex with his girlfriend.

Older Couples (Lower SES)

Audience Profile: The older couple is more established in their lifestyles and in their community. They already have children and they are more established in their line of work; although enough money to meet all their expenses is always a concern. Typically they will have many of the basic necessities that they can afford, but there is always more to save towards and aspire to. School fees, utility costs, cell phone airtime, transport, and food are constant drains on the family resources.

Alabi and Igbawi

Alabi and Igbawi Agbenuso are an aspiring middle class couple in their mid-thirties, married with three children aged seven, six and two and a half. The Agbenusos are a committed Muslim family living in a well-furnished one bedroom apartment with a TV and radio in a face-me face-you compound in Okey-Oyi, Illorin. Alabi is a vulcanizer, while Igbawi contributes to the family’s household income working as a tailor. When the going gets rough, Igbawi supplements their income by selling purified cold water in the market she works at. On weekends, Igbawi attends various special occasions and takes the three kids to visit the extended family. Alabi however likes to spend his weekend hanging out with his friends.

The Agbenuso’s have very close ties with their community. They are in good standing with their neighbors, the associations they belong to, their extended families, and various religious and community leaders. Both Alabi and Igbawi have visions of becoming more successful. Alabi wants to see himself one day having his own apprentice and owning an Okada that he can rent out; while Igabwi sees herself having her own stall in a corner of the market. They also want to give their children a good education and a house where they can have more space to run around in. Alabi and Igbawi are both independently concerned about family planning. They feel they would like to maintain a small family size and would like to be able to either space or limit children; however, neither has been able to bring up the issue and discuss it openly.

Older Women (over 30 years)

Audience Profile: The profile and lifestyles of older women in urban Nigeria can vary considerably; however, it is typical for women, once in their thirties, to be raising children. A significant percentage of older middle-aged women are also considered the head of their household and thus bear sole economic responsibility for their children’s well being.

Amina Yusuf

Amina Yusuf is the second wife in a polygamous marriage living in Gegele, Illorin. Amina was married at a young age and has given birth to four children, one of whom has died. Being in a polygamous marriage has forced Amina to fend for her and her children’s needs. To this end she has initiated several home based businesses such as a poultry farm, which did not get her very far. Eventually Amina persevered in getting her education and got a diploma in secretariat studies. She is now working as a clerical officer at a local government office and raising her three children.

Amina at this point has no desires to have additional children; however, she does not have any specific information about family planning methods. She would benefit most from either long term or permanent methods.


Aman Tirta – Safe Water Systems

In the communication strategy for the branding and marketing of an affordable water treatment product in Indonesia, Aman Tirta developed a profile of an audience member named Nur. This profile guided the developmentof communication and marketing messages directly to her as a concerned mother rather than to an anonymous audience.

Audience Profile: Meet Nur. She is a 24 year old mother with two young children and lives in a peri-urban area. Her eldest is a boy of four years and her youngest is a baby girl of six months old. Her husband is a factory worker at a nearby factory and usually comes home for lunch to save some money. She used to work as a factory worker too, but since last year her factory closed down and she has not found work since. Her unemployment and her youngest child’s birth made life more difficult for her family. Fortunately her eldest son does not need to go to school yet and she still breastfeeds her baby girl. They rent a small room close to her husband’s work, with only one bed room, a small multi function room and very small kitchen. They share latrines, washing facilities and an open well with four other families. She usually gets up in the morning to prepare breakfast and coffee for her husband. She uses a traditional kerosene burner to cook. Her husband’s income is Rp. 1,000,000/month, and her husband gives all his salary for her to manage. He will ask her for pocket money. He does not want to know about the hassle of household chores, looking after the children, etc. As long as there is food on the table, the house is clean, the children are clean and healthy, he is happy.

So Nur is the manager of the house. She has to make sure that everything is in order and on its wheel. However, she always consults with her husband on important things and big spending. For the rent they have to spend ¼ of his salary, which they consider quite reasonable since they do not have to spend money on transportation. The only problem is with the water; they can not use the well water for drinking because it smells and tastes awkward. They spend around Rp. 20,000/month for buying water. Nur spends Rp. 50.000 for kerosene a month that includes cooking and boiling water. They live small: her husband always has lunch at home and they can save up to Rp. 100,000 a month for emergencies. Last month, they spent their saving because her eldest son got diarrhea, flu and fever. But they believe that is part of his growing up, and now he is good and healthy again. She buys groceries in warung close to her house and daily meat and vegetable from street vendors who go around her kampong. Most of the day Nur spends looking after her children, doing household chores, and chatting with her neighbors. They talk and share information when they wash their clothes about almost everything: price hikes, children, family, health. Every Tuesday, she will go to pengajian with other ladies from her community.

Now, she is worried about the price hike and availability of kerosene/gasoline. She already spent more than her usual budget for food in total including water and kerosene this month. She noticed that all the prices went up with the increase of gasoline price. To make ends meet, she may have to cut her expenditure; she just isn’t sure what to cut. She wants to make sure the family is healthy though, because she has experienced that medicine and doctors could be very expensive.

Back to Step 2

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) brings together the expertise of international and Nigerian partners, including the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria and the Nigerian Association for Reproductive and Family Health to reduce supply and demand barriers to the use of family planning services in urban Nigeria. NUHRI aims to harness the potential of Nigeria’s dynamic urban environment to strengthen the delivery of family health services while gradually increasing demand. [2] JHU∙CCP, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, CARE International Indonesia, PT Tanshia Consumer Products, and Ultra Salur, created the first fully sustainable commercial model for safe water systems in Indonesia.

Funded by USAID, Aman Tirta (2005-2010) focused on promoting an affordable water treatment product, Air RahMat, for low income families with children under five years old. Using a public-private partnership model, Aman Tirta combined commercial manufacturing and distribution of Air RahMat with community participation and media promotion to create demand for the product and safe water practices. Advocacy with the Ministry of Health (MOH) created an enabling environment for household water treatment and safe storage. The MOH implemented policy on household water and treatment and safe storage and endorsed a range of technologies in support of this policy, including RahMat.