The magic ingredient: understanding your audience

The key to good PR is understanding exactly who it is that you’re trying to reach and what it is that they’re interested in. Then all you need to do is deliver your story in a way that meets those requirements. It sounds simple and it is really but there is more to it than meets the eye.

You can’t really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes, so the saying goes, and it’s a principle that we apply at Nexus Communications on a daily basis to ensure we know what we’re talking about and have a credible voice within the media. There’s a whole lot of difference between just understanding something on an elementary level and really getting under the skin of what makes journalists, key influencers, clients, client sales teams and their potential customers tick. This difference is often the dividing line between delivering a good campaign and a fantastic one.

Curiosity, enthusiasm and a natural thirst for knowledge are the basic requirements for understanding your audience but first-hand experience, whether that is visiting the latest food festivals, restaurants and pop ups or taking to the road with sales reps to go and visit customers, will give you the knowledge platform to communicate your message effectively.

Before embarking on a new campaign or even a press release, ask yourself who else you can speak to? Have I explored all angles? Is there another perspective that we’re missing that will reveal the bigger picture and enable us to satisfy everyone’s demands – journalist, client, sales team and customer? Be prepared to drive around the depths of South East London with delivery drivers in the middle of the night, set up catering equipment on the fly at street food festivals, fillet fish in the early hours or visit far flung reaches of the UK to speak to potential advocates.

The best PR consultants can deliver campaigns, strategic direction and opinions that are supported by experience and fact. If that knowledge of the nuts and bolts of a sector or business is missing, or even if it’s not comprehensive, the campaign message is less likely to resonate with your audience.

Get out there, talk, take action and be prepared to don a hair net once in a while, the rewards are well worth it.

Phil Slaney, Senior Account Manager, Nexus Communications