Mass Audience Targeting Versus Targeting a “Mass” of Audiences

We all know that social media PR tactics have made the switch from targeting mass audiences to targeting a mass of audiences. Engaging today’s savvier digital constituents is more about quality than sheer quantity, creating a dialogue versus a one way communication. The old-fashioned “one size fits all” approach has evolved toward tailored messages to increasingly specific, targeted communities on-line.

Qualitative audience targeting requires some changes in the way one thinks about measurement. Many clients would like to reduce everything directly to its impact on the ultimate objective, such as increased product demand and revenue, more awareness, more membership, more web traffic, etc. While this can be done, the methods used are constantly evolving and now require laser-precision targeting and customized “message packaging” that is appropriate for each specific medium, each form of social media, audience demographics, circumstances and surroundings. Even the time of day is important to each social media audience member.

Increasingly, we want to facilitate dialogue versus one-way communications. That means creating rich interactive opportunities that engage digital constituents directly through the medium of their choice. Brand advocates are just as likely to be “citizen journalists” or bloggers who influence a community of like-minded individuals, which have their own “newsrooms” and rich multimedia archives. At the end of the day, it still boils down to identifying the communities that have the power to support your cause or business, and then engaging them on the basis of sharing information, multimedia and resources they find of value.

With that said, strategize messaging to the appropriate medium, time of day and location of the recipient, i.e., if it’s mobile on the go consumers, then you should make sure your website is mobile friendly. For out of home media, make the call to action, the website or toll-free number easy to remember. Online, make it easy to share via e-mail or social media.

For multimedia, video and/or audio Podcasts or YouTube, think short segments that are episodic, keep them coming back for more. Think content-rich, high-impact visuals that can be delivered through a variety of channels. Produce something once correctly and you can use it many times across many media channels. Build and grow a library of media clips and still images.


Finally, always tell the truth. Use proper source attribution, disclose sponsors as appropriate and take time to fact-check. Don’t assume a blogger or “citizen journalist” is lazy or gullible. Treat them with the same respect as any media outlet—your brand and your message is in their hands.