Your audience

Before you start a campaign, it is important to be clear on who exactly you are aiming to reach.


Make a list of your stakeholders, dividing them into 3 categories:


Allies – people and organisations who already support what you do.

Neutral – people whose position or attitude is unclear. 

Adversaries – people who oppose the change you want to see.


Create profiles of your stakeholders. Who are they?


Demographics – race, gender, ethnicity, age, education, religion.

Geography – local, national, international, remote, urban, rural.

Culture – What is their cultural background? What languages do they speak or read?

Attitudes – How do they perceive the issue? How proactive are they? What would it take to get them to take action?

Media habits – What media do they have access to, use and like?


Define your target audience


Target audience: the people who can actually make the changes you want to see.


Define your participant communities


Participant communities: the people you'd like to see becoming a part of your media campaign or project: people, organisations and groups who will watch your media, help distribute it and provide different forms of support. Some of them will be active participants, and some passive.


  • There can be overlap: For a media campaign which aims to change the behaviour of men who commit, condone or ignore domestic violence, for example, these men might be both target audience and participant community.


  • A media campaign that has been designed for everyone can end up being for no one. Successful films, TV programmes, newspapers or posters are never made for 'everyone'. But a well-made media campaign that targets a specific audience can easily reach many different groups of people.


  • For example: A media campaign aims to make sure that the mining industry follows ethical practices. The target audiences are probably the mining industry and the government: these people have the power to make the changes you want to see. The participant communities are probably the communities affected by mining, as well as national or international environmental activists: these people might become involved in your campaign by consuming and distributing your media, and by taking action to support your cause.


Map out stakeholder relationships by asking these questions: 


  • What is each stakeholder's relationship to the problem?

  • What solutions are you proposing?

  • How are different stakeholders related to each other?

  • How able or willing are stakeholders to help your campaign?

  • How able or willing are stakeholders to hurt your campaign?


Try out The Change Agency's "Power Mapping" exercise and think about these questions:


  • How can your stakeholders help you achieve the change/s you want?

  • How much power or influence do they have?



Use this activity below to help decide which tactics will work best with your target audience and participant communities:


1. Draw a half-circle and divide it into five wedges.


2. Label the far left and far right wedges:

Far left: "Active allies" - those who most support your campaign.

Far right: "Active opponents" - those who oppose you.                            


3. Label the middle wedges. 

Active allies - supportive and motivated to achieve your goals

Allies - may benefit from your success

Neutral parties - currently may not be involved or affected

Opponents - may suffer from your success

Active opponents - actively interfere with your activities


A five-wedge diagram would look like this:

4. Write the names of your stakeholders on different sticky papers.


5. Place each sticky paper in a wedge according to level of support for your cause.


You now have a spectrum of stakeholders. Use this diagram to help decide which tactics to use, where. Different tactics may be needed for different stakeholders, depending where they are on the spectrum.


For example: 

Supportive: use mobilisation tactics

Neutral: use educational, visual tactics

Opposing: use disruption, interference tactics


(Adapted from New Tactics in Human Rights' Spectrum of Allies exercise.)


Additional Resources: 

Mapping Stakeholders and their Relationships, from Tactical Tech's '10 tactics for turning information into action'. 

Tactical Mapping, by New Tactics in Human Rights.



Source material created by Namita Singh and A. Ravi in collaboration with Tactical Tech.