Communication strategy: target audiences
It is important to identify the different target audiences for communication. The specific audience will depend on the objective of the communication as described before.
For instance, when the objective is to raise awareness about NIPN, the target audience may include all actors in the multisectoral nutrition system of the country.
However when the objective is to influence nutrition policy decision-makers regarding a specific response to one of the policy-relevant questions, the audience is likely to be much narrower as engagement zoom on the decision-makers.
Of course, it is also possible to advocate with a broader audience in order to create a bigger influence on the decision-makers.
Audiences may exist national and subnational levels. In countries where decision-making is done at sub-national level, the different steps of the NIPN operational cycle will be carried out at regional or district level, and the target audience of communication will therefore also be the nutrition policy decision makers at subnational level.
In any case, the choice of audience for a specific communication objective will need to be highly strategic if the ultimate purpose is to influence policy, programme or investment decisions. Knowledge of the priority objectives and key interests of the stakeholders themselves is key as this is often a good entry point to start communication: start with what is of interest to them. Only sending the NIPN messages, without connecting to what is of interest to the stakeholders may not fall into fertile ground.
It is recommended to do a stakeholder mapping (see below link) of the actors in the multisectoral nutrition system with regard to their levels of interest and influence on NIPN in the country, and to identify what the key interests of the stakeholders with the most influence are (also refer to section 2.2). Examples of target audiences are provided in the table below.