Resource guide to understanding and engaging your audiences
Understanding who you need to reach and thinking about how to engage these audiences are two important pieces to the puzzle of using communications strategically for your nonprofit. Navigating these pieces can be challenging without the right frameworks. If your organization is on this journey but unsure how to start or what to do next, fear not! Big Duck has a collection of resources to help set you on the right path.
As my favorite author, Zora Neale Hurston once said “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” Creating a research process that is equitable and allows you to gain insights into your audiences requires the tools and knowledge to do it properly.
Below is a summary of insights, podcasts, and a webinar to guide your thinking.
- Don’t know much about your audience? Former senior strategist, Laura Fisher, discusses the pros and cons of three different research methodologies to help you get to know your audience. For even more on this subject, listen in as founder, Sarah Durham, chats with Laura about how you can conduct research, make your focus groups more diverse, and how to get more accurate responses.
- Whose voices do nonprofits tend to seek out in the audience research they conduct? Conversely, whose voices are often left out? Ally Dommu, director of strategy, shares tips on how nonprofits can integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lenses into their audience research plans.
- When are interviews helpful? Who should you interview? In this post, Laura examines how to use interviews as a tool to gain fast, smart insights. You can also tune into this conversation between Sarah and Laura about how interviews can help you understand audience behavior and motivation.
If you are looking for some inspiration or education on audience research, join co-director Farra Trompeter and strategist K Yin on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, for a 60-minute webinar on how to conduct surveys to better understand your audiences. They will discuss how to plan and implement a smart survey and respond to the data you collect.
Now that you’ve identified who your audiences are, the next step is to prioritize and engage them in all the fantastic work you do. This could be to attract donors, recruit volunteers, change attitudes or behaviors, or raise awareness.
Below is a summary of resources to guide your thinking.
- How can you begin the process of mapping out and prioritizing these varied audiences? Where should your organization focus its limited time and resources? Strategist, K Yin, shares four simple frameworks that can help how nonprofit organizations identify and prioritize their audiences.
- Should you use Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook—and how? Is it time to phase out direct mail or do more of it? Should you train an in-house videographer? Watch this webinar with Farra, Laura, and Meghan Finn, Chief Communications & Engagement Officer of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, to learn how you can better define what your communications strategies should be so you can determine which tactics are worth your time, and which you can put on the shelf.
- Getting to know your audiences can shape what you say, how you say it, and where you show up. Read this case study about our work with the New York City Campaign Finance Board where we examined how their agency and municipal elections generally are viewed by New Yorkers–and used that research to inform their brand strategy. You can also listen to this podcast conversation between Farra and Ally to explore how you can use research to understand and shape your brand perception.
Defining and engaging your audiences is powerful. I hope these resources give you the tools you need to start finding and engaging your audiences through effective research. If you need more assistance navigating this journey, feel free to drop us a line, we are happy to help!