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Communicating to Diverse Audiences: Persona Development


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To more effectively communicate to the diverse audiences, communicators should understand their audiences through demographics, psychographics, and media consumption preferences. One possible way to combine audience information into a usable format is the creation of audience personas. Personas can be used to clearly define target audiences and their characteristics, which will help communicators tailor information to the audiences’ needs and expectations.

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Communicating to Diverse Audiences: Persona Development

  1. 1. Communicatingto Diverse Audiences:PersonaDevelopment Megan Homeyer, Billy McKim, & Holli Leggette Texas A&M University
  2. 2. The Problem?  There is a communication gap between the growing adult population and the shrinking agriculture population.  82.7% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas (Worldometers, 2016)  Most Americans are at least one or more generations removed from the farm or ranch (Dimitri, Effland, & Conklin, 2005).
  3. 3.  Agriculture sometimes uses the “hypodermic needle” model of communicating (Evans, 1985) that injects information one direction.  This is not effective  What is a better way of communicating? The Problem?
  4. 4. TheSolution? • Create a “person” that represents a group of people • Allows communicators to create messages for specific groups • Are a way to tailor information to targeted audiences • Learn how to speak their language (start out on the same page) Personas
  5. 5. TheSolution? • Emphasizes the unique individuals you are trying to connect to • Help focus and aid communication • Provide empathy and a human element to the design stage
  6. 6. TheSolution?  Personas need to be:  Life-like  Consistent  Representative  Data-driven
  7. 7. Persona Lifecycle Adlin & Pruitt, 2010 Family Planning •Development of research idea Gestation •Creation & development of personas Birth and Maturation •Introduction of personas Adulthood •Personas are active and utilized Retirement •Evaluate usefulness of personas
  8. 8.  Create a team  Identify goals  What do you want your persona(s) to accomplish?  Improve the process of team communication  Improve communication to audiences  Improve organization Family Planning
  9. 9.  Create an action plan  Define scope of project  Data  Existing (internal and external)  Original  Secondary  Stay organized Family Planning
  10. 10. Family Planning Description Date Source Incorporated? Primary Interview 2/02/16 Resp_001 Yes Questionnaire 4/18/16 Resp_004 Yes Existing perspectives of agriculture 5/22/14 Tegan, et al., 2014 Yes
  11. 11. Gestation 1.What are existing stereotypes?  Helps structure data processing  Builds bridge between what is currently thought and created personas 2. Process data  Identify themes Gestation
  12. 12.  Different methods of collecting data for creation of personas:  Ad Hoc  In-depth interviews  Surveys  Q Sort  Combination Gestation Gestation
  13. 13. 3. Create initial persona  Brief 4.Validate Gestation Gestation
  14. 14.  Create communication strategy  Introduction of the persona  Implement and continue to develop Birth and Maturation
  15. 15.  Personas are being used  Educating team on how to utilize the personas  Keep planning, designing, and evaluating Adulthood
  16. 16.  Measure effectiveness  Are the data still accurate?  Either continue with current personas or transition to a new project  Retire the personas Retirement
  17. 17. What goes into a persona?
  18. 18. Thoughts Beliefs Opinions Attitudes Gender YOB Race Income Education Level Content Medium Times Access Psychographics Psychographics Demographics Demographics Media Consumption Media Consumption
  19. 19. Personas Psychographics Psychographics Demographics Demographics Media Consumption Media Consumption
  20. 20. Example Psychographics Psychographics Demographics Demographics Media Consumption Media Consumption (Mobly, 2016)
  21. 21.  No definite stance on animal use or animal rights  Can be found on Facebook orYouTube  Familiar with the web  Easily influenced The Follower
  22. 22.  Has a love for animals, but are not animal activists  Believe the food industry requires improvement  Use the internet andYouTube  Familiar with Facebook, but does not access frequently  Listens to radio daily Compassionate Information Seeker
  23. 23. TheVisual Learner  Likes images (Instagram) [Survey]  Does not like newspapers or magazines [Survey]  Supports animal agriculture, but more for food than rodeo [Q Sort]
  24. 24. The Follower •Unsure of stance on animal use and/or animal rights Mobly, 2016 •Target on Facebook orYouTube •Increase engagement with videos
  25. 25. Compassionate Information Seeker Mobly, 2016 • Cares for animals, but not activist •Most familiar withYouTube and Web • Food industry needs improvement • Alternative platform is Facebook
  26. 26. TheVisual Learner •Target on Instagram or other image-heavy platforms • Do not try to engage through paper-based platforms ✔ • Positive attitude toward animal use and consumption • Undecided on the use of animals for entertainment Mobly, 2016
  27. 27. Family Planning RetirementAdulthoodBirth and MaturationGestation The Next Step
  28. 28. Initial Personas Traditionalist Organic Believer Opinionated Learner Health Conscious Indifferent Traditionalist ?
  29. 29. Psychographics Psychographics Demographics Demographics Media Consumption Media Consumption
  30. 30. Traditionalist Organic Believer Opinionated Learner Health Conscious Indifferent Traditionalist Unaware Easily Influenced
  31. 31. Family Planning RetirementAdulthoodBirth and MaturationGestation Future Research
  32. 32. Some things to remember  Personas are a means to an end, notTHE end  Can be a useful tool, but not infallible  Numerous methods to create personas  Time consuming
  33. 33. Let’s talk Megan Homeyer