HOW TO WRITE A MEDIA PLAN: identify your target audience

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Welcome to week four of Hearsay’s six-week, tip-driven program focused on helping you create a top-notch media plan. Each week, we’ll show you one of the six most important elements every plan should include to ensure that your campaign is set up for success. This week, we’re discussing how to identify your true target audiences as part of a successful media plan.

Before we dive in, get caught up on our tips from the past three weeks:

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Now, let’s talk audience identification.

Narrow it down

Fun fact: One of the biggest mistakes brands make is choosing a target customer that is too broad.

Think about it. Can you name one brand that has ever attempted to be all things to all people and succeeded? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

While you may be convinced that every single woman, man, and child in the world should fall in love with your product or service, not establishing a specific target customer does a disservice to your brand.

Here’s the truth: When it comes to working with the media, the more niche you can be, the better. You may decide to focus on a primary customer for your outreach, or you may identify two or three different audiences and craft a unique pitch strategy for each target customer.

Do your research

Easier said than done, right? I promise you, it doesn’t have to be this huge, complicated, overwhelming thing. Stick with me and keep reading. Using an example around handbags, I’ll show you how to handle this faster than Olivia Pope could.

Say you’re the founder of a unique handbag line that you know from extensive research fills a huge void in the lives of women—fashionistas or not—everywhere.

Perhaps you learn from your initial research that many of your customers are young moms who love the more fashion-forward look of your handbag line, but use them as diaper bags because of the roomy vinyl interior. This discovery could drive an entire marketing strategy focused on telling the diaper bag story to parenting magazines and mommy bloggers.

Of course, you may also think your bags could be a huge hit with the yoga-loving singles who are bound to find them to be the perfect gym bag that is spacious and still looks great for happy hour. You can then develop a second pitch directly aimed at the yoga and fitness blogs or magazines such as Women’s Health and SELF.

To ensure that your media coverage is on-brand, make sure your PR efforts are centered around your target customer. Beyond age, income, and location, get under their skin and find out what makes them tick.

Spend about a paragraph developing a persona for each of your target audiences. Later, as you develop your messaging, you can connect the dots as to why your products or brand story is a fit for each persona.

Ask 10 questions

To help you better identify your true target audience or audiences, here are 10 questions you should ask yourself prior to performing any media outreach:

  1. What is her favorite movie?
  2. What kind of car does she drive?
  3. What is her favorite drink, adult beverage or otherwise?
  4. Is she married?
  5. Does she have kids?
  6. Does she love to travel?
  7. How does she discover new products?
  8. Is she Pinterest-savvy or Facebook obsessed?
  9. What is most important to her? Is it her family? Having her independence? Her career?
  10. If she were a celebrity, which celebrity would she be?

Ready to get started? Download our free PR Plan template as your guide.

Have you identified your true target audiences for 2017?

Want more helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage or sign up for exclusive Hearsay content.