3 minute read

The importance of communicating effectively with your audience

We live in a significantly more interconnected world than at any other point in history and sectors like recruitment are becoming increasingly crowded. This makes communicating with your audience and standing out, key. It may have been possible to rely solely on word-of-mouth and your network in the past, but it’s certainly not now. So, with that in mind, how do you communicate effectively with your target audiences?

Political nightmare

As we outlined in a recent blog, the election period has provided some great examples of how not to communicate effectively. Rishi Sunak’s campaign did not get off to a strong start and a key part of this, along with the strange decisions made by his comms team, is because he doesn’t seem to know his audience. The Conservatives are trying to attract swing voters, not those who would vote for their party regardless. Labour classifies these people as ‘Stevenage Man’ and ‘Workington Woman’ – personas that enable them to understand their target voters. The Tories, on the other hand, appear not to know who their key markets are. They have launched policies at Henley’s Leander Club, which doesn’t exactly scream ‘party of the people’ to those considering them out of touch. The event also provided yet another opportunity for a communications disaster, and for the Lib Dems to continue their watersport-heavy election campaign. To engage with your target audiences, you need to consider not just what you’re saying, but also the right channel, tone and several other factors.

Know your audience

A key starting point, which applies across all aspects of marketing and communications – is that to communicate effectively with your audience, you first need to know who they are and what their preferences are. If you are writing a blog post, for example – you need to think who potential readers are, what they want to know about, or what problems you could solve for them, and how they would prefer to receive the content. Doing so enables you to tailor the message and make it more likely that your audience will engage with it.

Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign is a great example of understanding your market. The organisation was aware of its core demographic of young, socially conscious consumers and aligned itself with controversial NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, and ongoing social justice movements that were in focus at the time, to boost sales, engage with its audience, and heavily reinforce its brand identity. The campaign faced scrutiny at the time but led to increased profits and a stronger relationship with consumers.

Choose your channels

By knowing who your audience is, you will also gain an awareness that everyone is different, and will want to receive content in different ways. That means incorporating a range of channels into your communications activities; from valuable insight-heavy blogs, videos and infographics, through to PR and media relations, and shorter, sharper video-led pieces. Remember, though, to tailor your content accordingly; what works on one channel won’t necessarily be as effective on another.

Airbnb excels at this approach, and leverages user-generated content, social media and tailored email campaigns to create a sense of community and belonging amongst its property owners and customers. Their "Live There" campaign, which encouraged travellers to experience destinations like locals, resonated deeply with their audience and strengthened their brand.

Engage effectively

Knowing who your audience are, and then communicating with them according to their preferences, will support you to boost engagement. However, you will also need to craft compelling and creative content to really make your mark in any campaign. Numerous major brands are now experts at this, as it allows them to craft a strong identity and connect with their customers. You don’t need to customise personal bottles for consumers, like Coca-Cola (although that was an excellent idea) but by providing content that’s useful, insightful and memorable, you will be able to build engaged communities.


There are obviously several other factors that enable you to communicate effectively with your audience, like measuring the impact of your success and regularly reviewing and honing your output, that also play a part. However, to get any campaign off the ground you need to know your audience, tailor your content for different channels, and engage with them effectively. If you’d like to get more information on how to improve your communications work, then speak to our team.


Bruce CallanderAuthor: Bruce Callander

With over a decade’s experience in PR, marketing and communications, Bruce develops and executes media relations, content and social media strategies for firms in the recruitment and hiring industries, as well as suppliers to those sectors and other organisations both in the UK and internationally.


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