What is audience research?
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What is audience research?



This presentation is part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) learning kit “Communication for Agriculture Disaster Risk Management. A resource kit for field ...

This presentation is part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) learning kit “Communication for Agriculture Disaster Risk Management. A resource kit for field projects”. It was prepared by Maria Protz, Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative (CSDI) Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean.



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What is audience research? What is audience research? Presentation Transcript

  • What is Audience Research? And Why is it Important? Audience Research Methods
  • The First Step in Strategic Planning isProblem IdentificationIs there a problem?????
  • Nobodyever plansto fail….
  • They simply fail toplan!
  • The #1 Rule in all strategicplanning, is to alwaysremember:
  • The Main Thing –is to keepThe Main Thing,The Main Thing(Keefa, no date:11)
  • But figuring out what themain thing is in the FIRSTplace is often very difficult!
  • How do we find out what theMain Thing is? Issues Analysis – or Situational Analysis – or ‘Needs Assessment’ Research
  • Why do we needto do ‘audienceresearch’ and totake the time tofind out exactlywhat their‘knowledge,attitudes andpractices (KAPs)are?
  • •Because we usually make ‘assumptions’ about ouraudiences that are often not valid or based on fact. Thisis very dangerous;•Many times communication efforts are designed by‘technical experts’ or ‘media producers’ who are eithervery knowledgeable about the topic/issue, or aboutmedia production – but not about the audience. As aresult, many communication efforts are based on‘what’ to communicate, but give no attention as to‘how’ to communicate effectively, nor to ‘whom’.•We often think we already know that the targetaudience needs to know
  • •So that we can establish a baseline picture to beused for later assessing whether or not the campaignhas made an impact as intended•So that we don’t waste time, energy and ‘money’developing materials and media products for thewrong audience and/or with the wrong message•And the bottom line, so that the campaign isactually successful and effective and achieves ourdesired objective – social change of behavior…
  • What would we say aboutphysicians who prescribedmedicine without examining theirpatients? Are we as extensionofficers doing somethingsimilar…? (Mody, 1991:49). 
  • Analysis will help us to better understand theproblem, including:• Why does the problem exist? What is the ‘root’ of the problem?• What else contributes to the problem?• What are the effects and consequences of the problem?• Could the problem be avoided and if so how?• How many people are affected?• Who is most affected?• What are the characteristics of these groups?• How wide an area is affected?• How long has the problem existed?• And so on.
  • All ‘needs assessments’ involves“research” and starts with secondarybackground research (internet, reports,publications) and discussion with ‘frontline officers’ or expert consultations –
  • ….so that we get a ‘quick picture’ ofwhat the problem is…sort of a ‘Terms ofReference’ (TORS) or ‘Scope of works’(SOW)’ for defining further researchsteps.
  • In a DevCom Approach:PRCA starts with stakeholders to identify and define the problemThen works with stakeholders to identify how the problem affects different groups/audiencesAnd then works with stakeholders to identify ‘thematic’ areas for dealing with the problem that will lead both to ACTION but which will also help to create messages and learning tools
  • Next, actual messages and media products are developed with stakeholders using local talent, resources and cultureStakeholders are also involved integrally in monitoring and evaluation
  • What does audience researchinvolve?Talking and listening to your targetgroup…to find out what their real needsare and “what will have the greatesteffect on changing their behaviour.Research is the corner stone ofcommunication and makes programdevelopment a bottom-up process –with guidance coming from the targetaudience – rather than the usual top-down approach” (Kline, 1999:6-7).“Listening’ is what is most important…
  • True, producers and subject specialists inagriculture, health, or education whocommission media campaigns have control overwhat information they distribute, but senders donot control what and how much is actuallycommunicated –- the receiver does (Mody, 1991:51).
  • Where is our audience?Who is are audience?
  • As rural serviceproviders, we knowour audience arerural people, butwho are they really?
  • KNOWLEDGE:•If they know, what do they know?•Do they realize they know?•Are they willing to say?•Why do they think they know?•What do they think others know?
  • ATTITUDES:How do they feel?What are their aspirations and dreams?What do they believe?What past experiences might influencetheir attitudes?
  • PRACTICE:What do they do?Why do they do it?How do they do it?When do they do it?
  • A “Simple” question:What is a Watershed?Review handout 1
  • Audience Definitions of “Watershed” from the Ridge to Reef KAP Survey:• A little house over water• A shed over water (e.g., bathroom…)• Shed that keeps water cool the sun• A building where drinking water is stored and collected to keep it safe from insects• A shed that stops leaves from going into the house• A pump-house• A place where people stay when they have been flooded out of their home• A shelter from a rainstorm• A water tank with a pipe• A cover for a standpipe• A shed for keeping water
  • In order to understand our clients and tolearn what they know, practice and do –we need to undertake “Knowledge,Attitudes and Practices” or Behaviourresearch.
  • Developing an Audience Checklist:• How old are they?• Are they male or female?• What social class are they from?• How strong is their self image? What is this self image? How do they see themselves, particularly in relation to the problem/issue?• How would they describe their social class? How would you describe it?• How would you describe the social status of this group?• What is their level of education?• What language do they speak? Is this the way they would prefer to get information and messages about the topic?
  • • Where do they live? Rural or urban areas? Uptown or downtown? Type of housing?• What career ambitions do they have?• What other life dreams, desires and aspirations do they have? How do they see their life in 10 years? In 20 years? How can these aspirations be used to help promotion of your message/behaviour change?• How would they describe their family relationships?• How would they describe their relationships with friends and peers?• Are their any specific past experiences this audience has had that may be pertinent to your communication process?
  • • What is their level of income? How much is from their own earnings? How else do they support their livelihood and well-being?• What habits does our audience have?• What are their leisure interests? What do they do in their spare time? Where do they go in their spare time? Who do they spend it with?• What type of music do they like?• What type of fashion do they like?• What are their religious beliefs, if any? How strong are these beliefs? How important are they likely to consider in designing our messages?
  • • Are there specific cultural considerations that are important to remember in designing messages for this audience?• What else competes for their time and attention?• Who are their heroes and idols? Who do they look up to?• How do they spend their average day? What is their daily routine?• Are there any seasons or times of year when their daily practices change? If yes, why?• How may race and ethnicity be considered for this group?• Any other important facts that may influence message and campaign design?
  • • Topic/issue specific: Audience “Existing Knowledge” Guidelines• Have they heard of ____(your topic,issue,problem?• What do they think it is?• What do they actually know about it (actual facts)• Who is it a problem for?• Why is it a problem?• What will happen if the problem is not addressed?• How widespread do they think the problem is?
  • • Topic/issue specific: Audience “Existing Feelings and Beliefs” Guidelines• Do they think it is a problem/issue for them?• If yes, how important a problem is it?• How do they feel the problem affects or could affect them?• When, if at all, do they think the problem could affect them?• If it is not a problem, why not?
  • • Topic/issue specific: Audience “Existing Practices” Guidelines• What, if anything, are they personally doing about the problem? Why or why not?• Where would they go for more info/assistance on the problem?• What media do they prefer? When do they watch T.V., listen to the radio, read the paper, etc.? Which media are the most important for them?• What media do they have access to? What media do they prefer? What media do they actually use?
  • • Constraints to adoption of the behaviour/technique being promoted:• What is competing for this audience’s attention?• Why might they not adopt the behaviour change being promoted?• What costs are involved for them to adopt? What financial costs?• What emotional costs might be involved?• What physical costs/constraints might be involved?• What emotional costs?• What time constraints might they have and/or competing duties and responsibilities?• Are there any persons who might pose obstacles to their adoption?
  • Now that we’ve discussed whatAudience Research Is… Let’s look at the types of data collection forms and checklists that you, as an extension officer, have to use in your work to design your training programmes…how many of these same variables on your list?????
  • Discussion of Existing ExtensionActivities and Data Collection Tools