Identify Primary and Secondary Audiences

Part 2 > Essential Element 3 > Identify Primary and Secondary Audiences

cover2When you think of all the people you want to reach with your SBCC program, they could fall into two groups: primary and secondary audiences.

SBCC programs should recognize the importance of key secondary audiences and seek to identify them and devise ways of actively engaging them to promote the desired behaviors in the primary audience.

When identifying secondary audiences, consider the following:

  • What groups or individuals have the most influence over the behavior of the primary audience?
  • How do they exert that influence?
  • What benefits would the secondary audience receive from serving as a program intermediary?
  • What might be the barriers to involving them in the program?
  • What is their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding the SRH issue?

Using our cast of characters, some secondary audiences might include:

Primary Audiences Potential Secondary Audiences
Teenage males, in- school, middle to high socio-economic status

Think of: Etienne


  • Social and sport clubs, like semi-pro football teams (local)
  • Influential adults, like fathers and football coaches, like Thomas
  • Friends and peers

Young females, low socio-economic status, without regular school attendance

Think of: Awa


  • Household and family members, like Awa’s mother
  • Friends and near-peers, who might encourage Awa to have sex or advise her on how to avoid men’s advances

Older adolescent females, some school, unemployed, middle to low socio-economic status, with a child/children

Think of: Nadia


  • Adult family and household members, like her older sister and her sister’s husband
  • Parents in the village
  • Friends
  • Older men who are in relationships with younger girls
  • Boys of the same age
  • Health service providers working with youth, perhaps like workers at the Bright Star Clinic


The primary intended audience is the population whose behavior you want to change.

The secondary intended audience is the population that interacts with and influences the primary audience.



Even when you are trying to improve the health of urban adolescents, they themselves may not be the primary audience. For example, an SBCC program might want to increase communication between parents and their children. In this case, the primary audience would be parents and the secondary audience would be the children. For a program to prevent teachers from engaging in sexual relationships with students, teachers and school administrators might be the primary audience and female students the secondary audience.


If you want to learn more about the topics covered in this section, visit the Resources section for Essential Element 3.