1 STEP ONE: Who are you talking to? Audience and Target Participants

There are many stakeholders, or individuals, organizations and groups, connected to #P2PH. They can be supportive of ending mass incarceration, the drug wars and access to public health or they may be affected by them. The stakeholder may have the power to end mass incarceration and drugs wars in the US or may even be responsible for it’s implementation.

 When designing a campaign, it’s important to know all the people, organizations and groups involved in your topic. You also need to know who has the power to help you make a change.

Types of Stakeholders

Allies – People and organizations that already support what you want to do.

Neutral – People whose position is unsure/unclear.

Adversaries – People who oppose the change you wish to see.

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Before you begin your campaign, it would be a good idea to figure out who your stakeholders are using the three categories in the box to the left. When you know who your Allies, Neutral and Adversary stakeholders are, you can more easily identity your target audience and see who will help you achieve your goals. 

When identifying stakeholders in a community, it can be useful to think about these sets of questions:

1. Geography – local neighborhood, region, urban, rural – how do these shape people’s experience of this issue?

2. Media habits – what media do they have access to, use and like?

3. Demographics – class, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, age, and disability can intersect and shape people’s experiences and perceptions about #P2PH. How do these play a role in your community and with your stakeholders?

4. Culture – What is their cultural background of the specific community? What languages do they speak or read? Are there religious traditions that may influence how people view this issue?

5. Attitudes – Assess the attitudes within the community you are working in. Are people already engaged in organizing activity about this issue? If not, what would it take to get them to want to take action?

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Example: JustPublics@365 P2PH Stakeholders

Allies –Drug Policy Alliance (organization), community health organizers

Neutral – general public

Adversaries – some elected officials, prosecutors, for-profit prison corporations (CCA)

Source: Drug Policy Alliance

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Target Audience and Participants

Example: Target AudienceOur Social Justice Topic Series #P2PH was created to encourage activists, academics and journalists to engage in conversation and form alliances on this issue. In our case, the target audience and participants overlapped – The participants and audience included academics, activists and journalists who have already worked on this issue as we sought to engage the three groups in conversations.
Your target audience is who can help you make the changes you wish to see. Participants are those who you would like to get involved in your media campaign (i.e. people, organizations, groups, etc.) and who will provide support by following the work that you produce, as well as help you share the message. Some will simply read your posts online and re-tweet your tweets, while others may want to engage actively by blogging for you, and more.

You should define your target audience early on as this will help you shape your message. A strong media campaign targets specific audiences and then has a better chance of being viewed by many. Use your list of stakeholders to identify your audience and who will become your participants. You may find that the target audience and participant communities overlap.

(Adapted from New Tactics in Human Rights’ Spectrum of Allies exercise and http://howto.informationactivism.org/)

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