3 Reasons Why The General Public is Not Your Audience

20-Nov / Strategy / 0 COMMENTS

Saw this post by communications strategist Bilen Misfen Packwood in my Facebook feed this morning, and my first thought was, “couldn’t agree more.” My next immediate thought was,”I gotta meet this woman! She sounds like an impact producer.” She’s speaking my language; just substitute ‘non-profit’ for ‘documentary film campaign’ or ‘media project’, and ‘filmmaker’ for ‘ED’:


“Before diving into outreach tactics, we spent some time laying the foundation for strategy.  We talked about the nonprofit’s goals, which were clear and well-defined, and then moved to its target audience. Here’s where things got blurry: What the organization wanted to do, the ED said, was a public education campaign to get the general public galvanized about the issue.

My response: The general public is not your target audience. Here are three reasons why.”


Notice Mesfin Packwood is talking about non-profits and is concerned with social change. Much like we are in the social impact media world. If she were a consultant for Coca-Cola, and we were designing a marketing campaign for Iron Man 4, well, then we would be targeting general audiences. (And probably dealing with a whole lot more money, too)


It’s well worth reading the whole thing here.

(h/t Elaine Davenport)



Jennifer MacArthur is the founder and principal of Borderline Media and the co-founder of the Impact Producers Group. She lives and works in Brooklyn USA.

audience development Bilen Misfen Packwood