Available resources and program goals often drive decisions about a communication intervention’s reach. By prioritizing audience segments, communication can focus on the segments that can have the most impact on service delivery objectives or can estimate the resources needed to reach a particular segment.
The following are some questions to help prioritize audience segments:
- How much impact does this segment have on the overall program objectives? (How big is the segment? To what extent do they contribute to the health problem at hand?)
- How easy are they to reach?
- Are sub-populations marginalized socially due to ethnicity, language, or other forms of exclusion? (Reducing service inequity may be an important goal.)
- How ready are they for behavior change? To achieve “quick wins,” consider prioritizing those that are more ready to adopt new behaviors.
A similar process can be used for the secondary (influencing) audience.
Note: Identifying Influencing Audiences
Individuals who influence the primary audience’s behavior are the secondary, “influencing” audience. They can be identified by posing questions such as:
- Are there groups or individuals who have considerable influence over the behavior of the primary audience?
- How do they exert that influence?
- What are the benefits to the audience for participating in this program?
- Can the program address the barriers to involving them?
- What do we know about their current knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding the health or service issue? What insights are we missing?
Also make sure to consider each of the stages of service delivery. Are there different influencers before, during, and after service delivery? If so, you will need to prioritize which influencers to focus on first.
Download the Influencing Audience Template to summarize this information.
Source Health Communication Capacity Collaborative – How To Conduct an Audience Analysis
For more complete step-by step guidance on how to segment and prioritize an audience, go here: How to Do Audience Segmentation
In service communication, health providers can be the primary audience. Provider audiences can include doctors, clinical officers, nurses, community health workers, pharmacists and sometimes facility support staff. When providers are the primary audience, we seek to influence their behavior (for example, to improve clinical counseling, change stigmatizing behavior, adopt more friendly attitudes).
See Provider Behavior Change section for more information on providers as an audience for behavior change.