‘Audience fragmentation’ relates to the changes we’ve seen in the past decade in the media market and society. It is an issue that should have a major bearing on your company’s approach to its PR.
We’ve all become a lot more transient and polygamous in our news consumption. Even many of our parents’ generation have stopped buying daily newspapers as their main source of news and information. Instead, we’re all going to multiple sources, including Facebook, Apple News, Google Alerts and a plethora of special-interest blogs, from Guido Fawkes to Nomadic Matt.
What does this mean for the targeting of your PR programme? It means throwing out all your old assumptions about the best ways to reach and educate your audiences. Every industry still has its leading trade publications, and we remain stubbornly faithful to some trusted lifestyle and national news media. However, most media outlets are struggling to hold onto their circulation levels, as we discussed in this recent post on the future of travel PR. So, it’s time to think more analytically about where the right eyeballs are lingering.
Here are some simple steps to take when choosing the channels for your PR effort:
- Be more sceptical about publications’ claimed audience figures. Many circulation figures are not officially audited so it’s important to probe harder about exactly who is receiving the publication, how and where. Get hold of its advertising media pack and if necessary ask some searching questions.
- Assess the right social media platforms. Although many businesses still struggle to ‘get’ social media, the really important networks are few and therefore relatively easy to master. For a consumer travel brand, Facebook and Instagram may be all you need; for a B2B aerospace business, just a solid LinkedIn presence could be enough.
- Check out the best in-person PR opportunities. People buy from people, and customers prefer suppliers they’ve met or seen. It could therefore be important to get out on the speaker circuit and learn to deliver your message from a podium or panellist’s chair. Conference audience members are pre-qualified as a potential leads, so get out there and engage them.
- Prioritise the PR activities you can measure. Whether using press coverage KPIs, social media metrics or content downloads, make the ability to measure a starting point for everything you do.
- Ask your customers. Don’t just assume you know which PR touchpoints are right for your business, speak to the people who already buy from you. Whether through a structured opinion poll or more informally with one-to-one conversations, make time to learn which outlets and platforms are really used. You could learn something completely unexpected that could pay dividends in your marketing.