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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Fallowfield

Why knowing your target audiences is key for storytelling success

Over the past year, FF&M’s MD Juliet Fallowfield has been writing a bi-monthly guest column for Retail Jeweller. In this column, discover Juliet’s thoughts on why knowing your target audiences is key for storytelling success.

When running any business, time is a precious commodity. Also accepting you can’t be all things to all people means you won’t spread yourself too thinly.  The same applies to storytelling.  Trying to speak to too many people at once will dilute your efforts and results.  

We’ve seen the greatest success for our clients when they have focussed on their key audiences.  From here they’re able to methodically work through press lists that specifically target these audiences.  This in turn ensures all relevant press are pitched to with the right angle at the right time, reducing wastage. 

To find your core audiences, we suggest drawing up client personas. Create descriptions of the client profiles you’ve already generated strong sales with, client personas you might like to grow further, as well as those prospective client personas where you may be missing an opportunity.  Draw up who these people are, their typical behaviours, shopping habits, age, disposable income and what types of media they’re likely to consume along with specific publications. 

Audiences are not just limited to clients or consumers (B2C) either.  It is worth considering B2E (business to employee) as well as business to investor, board member, supplier and of course the press. Understanding who you’re trying to reach and why will in turn inform what media each audience is consuming.  This will help you build your target press list and further focus your PR efforts. 

Once you’ve mapped your audience personas and behaviours, you can then refine key talking points you’d like to share with them.  Always consider what each different audience persona would like to hear or learn more about as opposed to what you want to say to them.  We had a client once state ‘our brand should be on Vogue’ but it is worth thinking about why the Vogue reader wants to read about your brand. This subtle shift will mean you craft your story with the end reader in mind and are more likely to open a conversation with a target title.  It is wise not to assume that editors are as passionate or informed about your business as you are, so offering them information or angles that their readers will enjoy will expedite the dialogue. 

While it is important to focus your attention on core audiences, it is also worth drafting your talking points to identify other audiences you have not previously considered.  For jewellery, it is of course key to speak to a press audience who write about jewellery.  However there will be other journalists who will find your brand’s story of interest too.  Business press could cover innovative use of e-commerce software or significant investment news.  Startup press may want to learn about what challenges you’ve faced in setting up your business.  Check if the writer has a passion for sustainability. If so, skew your talking points so they resonate on this while incorporating your points of difference in order to stand out.  

Also consider how often you’re communicating with each audience.  Maintaining regular contact is important but only if you’re adding value with each pitch.  For example some audiences may only need to hear from you once a quarter, or only when you have new news. A good rule of thumb when contacting your audiences is to only be in touch when you have something relevant to say. 

Ultimately, in knowing your audiences and regularly updating and refreshing your audience personas, you’ll spend your pitching time wisely. 

Fallow, Field & Mason is a B Corp Certified PR, communications and podcast production consultancy enabling businesses to master their own PR in-house. Believing that founders and creative directors are their own best storytellers, FF&M offers a series of fixed priced modules to optimise brands’ communications so they can confidently tell their story to their key audiences, building greater brand awareness and ultimately driving revenue. 

Juliet is also the host of the Apple charting podcast: How To Start Up, the entrepreneur’s ultimate handbook.

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