Tool 4. Target audiences: how to select and target key decision-makers

STRATEGIES FOR SPECIFIC TARGET GROUPS

In Step 2 of planning and implementing your advocacy it asked you to consider WHO you are advocating to. This of course depends on WHAT you are advocating for (see Tool 5 - Step 1), and what kind of change in action/behaviour is desired as an outcome of your advocacy.

Some potential target people/groups for advocating to open up agricultural knowledge may include:

  • Political leadership i.e. Minister, Permanent Secretary etc.
  • High level management i.e. Directors, Management teams etc.
  • Research managers
  • Researchers
  • Professionals working in information and knowledge management/sharing and communication
  • Funders, sponsors, donors
  • Partner organizations

There may also be other advocacy targets particular to your case. It is necessary to identify and understand your target proberly in order to plan your advocacy work. Some key questions that you need to think through when creating a strategy to advocate to specific groups/people are analysed below.

Note: Remember in some cases that the target group you want to advocate to may not be best reached by you directly but may require using one or more intermediaries.

Part 1: Identifying and understanding the best target groups for your advocacy agenda

  1. WHAT do you want to achieve through your advocacy? (awareness, decisions, actions)
  2. WHO can bring about the desired result that you require, that is motivating you to do advocacy in the first place? (minister, director, senior research manager)
  3. WHY is that group/person able to bring about this result? (seniority, authority, expertise)
  4. HOW can that group/person bring about that result? (taking a management decision, implementing a system, assigning budget/funding)

Part 2: Figuring out your advocacy strategy with that group/person

  1. HOW accessible is the advocacy target (person/group) identified above to you? i.e. Can you arrange to meet the target? Does the target know and trust you? Can you convince the target?
  2. If the advocacy target is accessible to you: WHAT is the best route/method to approach the target? WHAT information should be provided? HOW should the information be present best?
  3. If the advocacy target is NOT accessible to you: WHO else can access and influence the target as an intermediary acting as a champion on your behalf, provided that you have access to that person/people? When you have decided on an intermediary target, then please consider Question 2 with regard to that intermediary.

The table below provides some suggestions of how to advocate to the various target groups.

People/groups Type of information/message Appropriate communication/advocacy tools
Government officials, e.g Ministers, Facts and figures Wider implications and impact Influential senior person/group, Proposal/concept, Presentation
Heads of Institutes, e.g Director Generals, Rectors, Management Teams Relation to institutional mandate/strategy/plan, Cost- benefit: finances, human resources, What needs to be done, how will it work, Impact, What others are doing and achieving Digital presentation, Proposal/concept, Influential person
Science/Research Managers What tool/method is being suggested-how it will work, What is expected of them, Assumptions and risks--including how to safeguard, Impacts and implications, What others are doing Presentations, Demonstrations/training, Visuals--graphs etc
Technicians Tools and methods to be used, Cost-benefit, What others are doing-and how Presentations, Internet/social media, Visuals/video, Demonstrations/training
Information managers Facts and figures, Case studies and success stories from others, Tools and methods to be used, Impact and implications Presentations, Internet/social media, Visuals/video, Demonstrations/training
Researchers What tool/method is being suggested-how it will workWhat is expected of them, Assumptions and risks--including how to safeguard, Impacts and implications, What others are doing Workshop, Training/Demonstration, Presentations, Visuals, Documents
General public Impact, How it is being done--general Videos, Radio programs/audio recordings, Social media, Visuals, Presentations