Communication Strategy Development

Audience-Centered Communication Planning is a systematic process that anchors communication campaigns in evidence and clear, logical thinking. At each step, there are questions that determine the communication choices. Following this process assures that the communication planning stays on track, focused on the problem and the audience that is key to change.

AOC will teach your team to follow the Audience-Centered Communication Planning process, so they can develop communication campaigns and activities that work.

THE AUDIENCE CENTERED COMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
Ask: What is wrong in general terms?
Could the problem be solved by communication?

2. IDENTIFY THE TARGET AUDIENCE
Ask: Whose knowledge, attitudes or behavior needs to change to solve the problem?
Is there anybody else you need to influence first?

3. IDENTIFY A BEHAVIOR CHANGE GOAL
Ask: What will be true when the problem is solved?

4. CONDUCT AUDIENCE RESEARCH
Ask: What is the best way to learn about the target audience?

5. CONDUCT AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
Ask: What is the audience’s
• Situation on the Steps of Change re. the Change Goal?
• Reasons and explanations for where they are?
• Barriers to moving up the Steps?
• Potential Motivators for moving up the Steps?
• Preferred communication channels?

6. DEVELOP COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES
Ask: What specific change in knowledge, attitude or behavior do we intend?
What do we want the audience to know, believe, intend, try, continue or advocate to others for?
Communication objectives are specific and limited.
“After this communication activity, audience members will….”

7. DEVELOP A COMMUNICATION CONCEPT
Ask: What approach (usually a combination of channel and content) will
influence your audience to change?

8. CHOOSE A CHANNEL
Ask: What channels are best for the change you intend?
What channels does the audience prefer?

9. DEVELOP MESSAGES
Ask: What words and images will convey this concept best to the audience?

10. PRETEST
How do members of the target audience respond to the approach?
Pretests may be on the concept, message, rough draft, or final draft.
A thorough pretest finds out:
Are audience members attracted to the words and image
Do they understand the words and images as intended?
Are they persuaded by the message?
Is the message believable to them?
Is the message culturally acceptable to them?
Do they identify with the message personally?
Modify materials after the pre-test to make them more effective.

11. DEVELOP MATERIALS
Who can do the best job of bringing the message to life?
If you hire media professionals, do they understand your audience analysis
and can they work to your communication objectives.

12. PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION
When and where should the communication be implemented?
For how long? And by whom?
If you use interpersonal communicators, will they need to be trained?

13. PLAN FOR FEEDBACK
How will the audience’s reactions be registered?

14. PLAN FOR EVALUATION
What method can you use to find out:
Were the communication objectives attained?
How close are we now to the behavior change goal?
What barriers remain to be addressed?

Permission to use the Audience-Centered Communication Planning Process is granted, if credit is given to Barbara A.K. Franklin, PhD and All One Communication