One of the tips we gave in last week’s free webinar How to Write Faster at Work (recording available with our Free Membership) was stop writing to the general public. Even if you think you have the most universal cause out there, you cannot appeal to everyone with your communications. You will either water down the message so much it has no impact or you will add so many things that is becomes muddled.
Let’s say your cause is “All babies should eat.” You will have a hard time finding anyone who disagrees that babies need to eat, right?
BUT you will have some people who disagree with how you are feeding the babies. Others won’t like what you are feeding the babies. Others will think it is not their responsibility to feed babies and will resent being asked.
These people are the general public. You need to focus on YOUR people – the ones that are really interested in what you do. And these are the people you will create your personas around.
Personas are basically a description of imaginary friends who represent the groups of people that your organization is trying to communicate with. They are “stand-ins” for your actual supporters. Most nonprofits can use at least three personas depending on what you do, but we recommend no more than nine.
Start creating your persona by giving them a name, age, income and education level, family status, neighborhood, or any other kind of demographic you think will be helpful. You can even find a stock photo to work with.
Then start asking these questions to bring your persona to life:
- How does this person spend their days (where, what, when, etc)?
- What does this person see, hear, taste, touch throughout the day?
- Who does this person trust the most?
- Who else is talking to your person about your issue?
- Who is encouraging/discouraging them from doing [whatever your call to action is]?
- What values are most important to them?
Now, instead of creating content for the mythical “general public,” you will create content for these personas. You’ll reach the right people and your decisions about language, imagery, and format will be much easier. This will lead to more relevant content that produces results.
To learn how to better understand the expectations, concerns, and motivations of your audience, join us August 30th for a BRAND NEW workshop Jump Start Your Audience Personas or Journeys.