Part 2: Essential Elements of SBCC Programs for Urban Adolescents

Essential Element 4: Creating an Audience Profile

This Essential Element will help you gain a deeper understanding of your audiences so that you can develop activities and messages that will be most effective for them. Here are some suggestions for working through this element:

  • Read the text from beginning to end.
  • Complete Worksheet #5 with information about your audience. If you need help filling it in, refer to the example of Worksheet #5 that has been completed with fictional data from the city of Zanbe.
  • When you have completed Worksheet #5, go on to work through Worksheet #6. Again, if you need help filling it in, refer to the example of Worksheet #6 that has been completed with fictional data from the city of Zanbe.
  • Refer to the resources at the end of this Essential Element as needed.

What is the Purpose of this Essential Element?

Now it is time to make your research come to life! One of the most important things you need to know when designing an SBCC program is your audience. The better you know your audience, the better your program. You can do this by creating audience profiles.

The purpose of this Essential Element is to:

  • Understand how using data to develop a complete profile of your intended audience will better define and focus your SBCC activities.
  • Understand the three major types of information needed to develop audience profiles (demographics, behavior and psychographics).
  • Use your local data collected to complete Worksheet #5: Summarize Key Information About your Audience for each audience segment.
  • Use your local data collected to complete Worksheet #6: Audience Profile for each audience segment (primary and secondary).
  • Pretest the profiles you develop with your intended audience.

Why is this Important?

birthdayKnowing your audience means having a deep understanding of their likes, dislikes, priorities, living situation and background, and then using this information to plan your activities. Before implementing your program, you should know your audience so well that they become real people to you—just like Nadia, Awa and Etienne from the Zanbe community introduced in the Cast of Characters.

You will need information about both your primary and secondary audiences so you can have a deep understanding of each audience. Existing data may be available on your secondary audience, but you may also need to conduct your own research.

For example: We know that Etienne has some strong adults in his life. His father is very active in his life, both as a father and a coach. For young people like Etienne, it might be useful to look for some research or conduct some qualitative research yourself with fathers of adolescent boys to find out if and how they are supporting their sons with SRH, and what messages and programs might help them do that. It would also be useful to talk to young men about their fathers and the role that they would like their fathers to have in their SRH.

Imagine a friend was planning a very special birthday party for you and the only things your friend knew about you was your age, gender, occupation and number of family members that live with you. Would that be enough information to throw you a great party? Wouldn’t you want your friend to also know what music you love, the foods you like to eat and the people who are most dear to you? Wouldn’t you want your friend to consider how you feel about getting older, the things that you like to do for fun and the types of parties you do not like to attend? If your friend knows all of this about you, your party will likely be a much bigger success than if he/she didn’t know.

The same goes for designing a SBCC program for urban adolescents. The audience profile should be a key reference document throughout the life of the project. For example, an audience profile can be used to answer program design and pre- implementation questions like:

  • Who does Nadia talk to about sex and relationships?
  • Would Awa read a brochure? Where would she find it? Where would she read it? Does she have the literacy level to read it or should it be more illustrations?
  • Where would Nadia feel comfortable accessing SRH services?
  • What radio station would Etienne listen to?
  • Does the message use language that Awa would use or that would appeal to Awa?
  • How would Etienne react to the message in a poster?
  • Which of Etienne’s determinants of behavior can we most effectively address?

Basing decisions on a representative example of your intended audience segments, such as an audience profile, will allow you to better define and focus your SBCC activities.

Important Concepts

What is an Audience Profile?

Remember our cast of characters from the beginning of the I-Kit? Those are the beginnings of an audience profile—the descriptive paragraph. An audience profile is a tool that helps bring your audience segment(s) alive so that as you are designing your program, you aren’t thinking about “low- income girls between the ages of 10 and 14,” but instead are thinking directly about Awa. You will need an audience profile for each segment that you plan to work with in your program. For example, you may need one for an out-of-school girl who is 10 to 14 years old and not sexually active, one for a parenting mother who is 15 to 19 years old, and one for a working young man who is 15 to 19 years old.

A good audience profile is one that:

Makes you feel like you know the person really well—you can plan that birthday party!

 Includes enough information to answer key questions about your program design and implementation.

 Includes the audience themselves in its development.

 Is a “living document,” meaning it is regularly updated when new information becomes available.

Resources

Resources

If you want to learn more about the topics covered in this section, visit the Resources section for Essential Element 4.

What Are the Key Steps?

When developing an audience profile, there are a number of key steps to follow:

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Essential Element 3: Segmenting Your Audience (Prev Step)
(Next Step) Essential Element 5: Establishing Behavioral Objectives and Indicators
Back to Part 2: Essential Elements of SBCC Programs for Urban Adolescents

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