Let's Talk Audience
- Posted by Lisa Kupper on Monday, 2009-03-23 at 17:50:56
There’s almost nothing more important in dissemination planning than Defining Your Audience and designing to it. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to craft an effective and capacity-building resource, tool, product, or service without having a clear vision in your mind of who it’s for.
So, we'd like to introduce a discussion strand on this all-important element in our work. The fact that most people will use our info only when they perceive a need for it means that the relevancy of our materials is ultimately determined by our users. Only they can say whether a resource fits their need or not.
In terms of Defining Your Audience, we've found that it’s helpful to think small. Think targeted. Think in like-groups, meaning don’t lump all users together in how you design or disseminate a specific resource (unless, of course, all your users are more or less alike!). Teachers are different from parents are different from administrators are different from state directors. They may all need info on some aspect of educating children with disabilities—RTI, say—but they don’t all need the same info nor are they going to do the same thing with it. Address planning to individual user groups, not the General Public, and the fit of info to user will be much better, closer, tighter. Relevant!
Interestingly, the social media tools that are so the rage today offer us a near-perfect means of consulting with many of our audiences. The NDC is very excited to explore how the TA&D network can tap into the raw power and sheer numbers of people involved in social networking and exchange on the Internet. It won’t be the only tool in the dissemination bag, but it’s a mighty thrilling one. That's why we've included a separate discussion strand just on Social Media. Join in?