That’s a great question, and there is no easy answer. After all the work you’ve done developing your messaging, creating a strategic plan, and putting together your pitches, you don’t want it to go to waste by targeting the wrong media outlets.
There are a variety of ways to find your audience – some more obvious, others more inventive. Start by taking a look at an outlet’s advertising specs. Most will offer a profile of their readers or viewers broken down by gender, age, and income and some even offer education, employment, and home ownership data. If that’s not enough, get in touch with editors at the outlets you’re considering – they know their audiences better than anyone and they may be willing to share some insight.
Spend some time on Facebook and Twitter, too. What type of people follow the outlets you’re considering? Who is retweeting that blog, newspaper, TV show? Not only will this provide insight into your target audience but you might find some new outlets to consider.
Check out your competitors – where are they placing ads? Where do they appear in the press? While they may not have it absolutely right, your competitors serve as a useful guide for pinpointing where to reach your audience.
Unless you’re the author of The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, and Literature of Pedestrianism (if so, see: Walk! Magazine), finding your audience isn’t always easy. But, it’s critical if you want your PR effort to be successful.
Stay on message,