Audience

As all communicators know it’s important not to communicate the same way to everyone; you should treat different audiences differently. The tips and insights in this section will help you to recognise and engage audiences; whether those audiences are defined by their level of engagement, their attitudes, or the media they consume.

Tips

  • Don’t think of your audiences as donors, campaigners, and volunteers; people who do these things almost always have more complex relationships with global poverty
  • Actively plan the balance between market share and market growth approaches; simply targeting audiences who are likely to already be engaged with global poverty will limit the total amount of support behind development organisations

Percentage of the British public by behaviour-based audience

Percentage of the British public by behaviour-based audience

  • Totally Disengaged
  • Marginally Engaged
  • Informationally Engaged
  • Behaviourally Engaged
  • Fully Engaged

The Aid Attitude Tracker asks respondents about 18 individual ways of engaging with poverty – from donations, to consuming media and different forms of campaigning. has identified five segments defined by the different ways which they engage with global poverty. Those five groups are:

  • Totally Disengaged; these people don’t engage with global poverty
    Marginally Engaged; these people are likely to consume media about global poverty but do not do anything active to support efforts to reduce global poverty
  • Informationally Engaged; these people engage with, or have engaged by, creating and sharing information about global poverty they are fairly likely to donate and to campaign, particularly online.
  • Behaviorally Engaged; people who are likely to engage, or to have engaged, by donating, fundraising, offline campaigning, and volunteering.
  • Fully Engaged; people who engage both informationally and behaviourally.
    Over the past 3 years the percentages of the British public who fit into these segments has fluctuated but overall the Behaviourally Engaged segment has shrunk, while the Totally Disengaged segment has grown.

Over the past 3 years the percentages of the British public who fit into these segments has fluctuated but overall the Behaviourally Engaged segment has shrunk, while the Totally Disengaged segment has grown.

Fully Engaged are:

  • Younger than other segments; 19% are 18-24, 24% are 25-34 whilst only 32% are over 50
  • Slightly more likely to be male(52%) than female (48%)

Behaviourally Engaged are:

  • Older than Informationally and Fully Engaged audiences 55% are over 50
  • Slightly more likely to be female(58%) than male (42%)

Informationally Engaged are:

  • Younger than all the other segments apart from Fully Engaged; 17% are 18-24 and 18% are 25-34
  • Pretty evenly split between female (51%) and males (49%)

Marginally Engaged are:

  • Older than other segments; 55% are over 50
  • Slightly more likely to be female (53%) than male (47%)

Totally Disengaged are:

  • More likely to be older, with 43% over 50, while 29% are 18-34
  • Pretty evenly split between males (51%) and females (49%)

Market Share

Focusing on engaged audiences, especially if they are not already engaged with your organisation, may simply create churn between organisations rather than increasing overall engagement. Engaging audiences who are currently ‘marginally engaged’ may be more difficult but will increase overall engagement, and potentially increase impact on global poverty rather than diverting it between organisations.

Moral Cause

As people’s sense that the reduction of global poverty aligns with their own ‘moral compass’ improves they become more prone to engaging with global poverty. This driver of engagement acts as a kind of gateway driver; unless people see this alignment they are unlikely to engage in a sustained way. Show how engagement with your organisation and cause aligns with popular moral beliefs; fairness, tackling vast inequality, tax dodging, getting a fair start in life… This driver is most important for disengaged audiences. You can read more about how to align your communications with popular moral beliefs in this blog.

Social Norms

People engage more with global poverty when they believe others are engaging and that others respect those who are engaging. Showing that others are engaging, making supporters feel part of a community, and showing that other people admire those who engage will all increase audience’s propensity to engage. Find tips on how to make audiences feel like supporting global poverty is a social norm in this blog.

Personal Efficacy

Encouraging people to see that they are making a difference, or able to make a difference, drives engagement with global poverty. Showing an audience a logical and relatable ‘theory of change’ for their engagement significantly helps audiences to see their own role in creating change. Relatability is an important factor; it’s difficult to translate big collated information about inputs and impact to your own individual role – talk about an individual classroom, clinic or job, not about the tens or hundreds of thousands of things. This is most important for those who are already engaged.

©2018 DevCommsLab.

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