PR Tactic: How to write an audience brief


Having access to trusted sources and media contacts during this time of uncertainty is essential to end the chain of misinformation. Access a media contacts database of 60,000 journalists and 11,000 organisations at MediaHQ.

What is it?

An audience brief is a detailed description of a specific group of people that you are trying to target with a campaign, or a story. They are a group of people that you are regularly in contact with. This is a dossier of everything that you know about them that’s important. It should help you to think like they think, and give you a deep insight into their decision making process.

Why do you do it?

Unless you understand your audience, properly and completely, you cannot communicate with them clearly and effectively.

How do you do it?

Audience search is about answering a specific set of questions in as much detail as is possible. These are the question that you need to answer:

  • Name the audience. What are they called? Language is important. It is a shorthand for meaning and understanding. Try and find the shortest most descriptive words to describe your audience. It is the word that you will use to describe them – make it good.
  • Write a description of the audience. Start broad and get very specific, but keep it short and succinct. It is probably best to write this at the very end when all of the other parameters are known.
  • What are the audience members key traits?
    • Are they male or female?
    • What age are they?
    • Where do they live? Urban or rural? What part of the world?
  • What socio-economic group are they in? This is a range from A to E. please be specific. The socio-economic group determines income, social standing and many of the choices people make.
  • What traditional media influences them? Be as specific as you can. You’re looking for a list of:
    • Journalists.
    • Magazines.
    • Newspapers.
    • News Websites.
    • TV stations.
    • And programmes.
  • What social media channels are they on? They may be on a broad range of social media channels but you need to find out the details:
    • Which channel is the most used?
    • How do they use it?
    • What type of activities do they carry out on social media – be as specific as you can?
    • Who or what influences their behaviour – list as many accounts as you can?
  • Write personas of audience members. The final step is to write out personas of audience members. Based on what you know, construct a number of personas. This will help you to get them in your mind’s eye when you are deciding on how to target them. Here is an example:
    • Brian the commuter – Brian 32, works in the city in London and commutes every day from Brighton on the train. He lives in Hove near the sea. He is married with one child. He likes sea swimming and keeping fit. He tries to read fiction on the train, but usually gets caught up with work. He earns over £170,000 per year.