Knowing Your Audience
When I was doing work as a prevention educator, I remember the time and effort I would put into preparing for a presentation. I just knew the kids would LOVE the activities I had planned. I imagined them listening attentively and grasping onto every little nugget of information. Was I delusional? Not always. But sometimes my message would fall flat and I would leave feeling like I had failed. Why? I didn’t know my audience.
Knowing your audience is core to any prevention work. Whether it’s an educational presentation, an outreach event, or a prevention campaign, we need to know who we are targeting with our message. A few weeks ago, I shared a video which touched on this a bit as it relates to branding prevention. To even begin thinking about branding our prevention messaging, we have to first think about identity research. What community, sub-community or sub-culture are we trying to reach? What behaviors are we trying to change and how do we “sell” the positive behaviors we want to see? How can we involve our target community in the process so they are invested in making it work?
We continue our Mapping Prevention video podcast series by discussing these questions with Ashley Maier, formerly of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force and now with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s PreventConnect project. Watch the video to find out more about successful social branding strategies and the importance of knowing your audience. Then use the comment section to let us know what you are doing in your community.