HealthCompass How-to Guide
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
April 20, 2015

"An audience analysis is a process used to identify and understand the priority and influencing audiences for a SBCC [social and behaviour change communication] strategy. The priority and influencing audiences are those people whose behavior must change in order to improve the health situation."

This Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) guide, one of 23, [click here for the full list and see Related Summaries, below] is designed to enhance an SBCC campaign's effectiveness, through establishing a clear, detailed, and realistic picture of the audience. "As a result, messages and activities are more likely to resonate with the audience and lead to the desired change in behaviors." The audience analysis, taking an estimated 3-4 weeks, is sometimes done in conjunction with a situation analysis and programme analysis.

As stated here, it is important to involve stakeholders in the process, specifically, by gaining feedback from "in-depth interviews, focus group discussion community dialogue, small group meetings, taskforce engagement and participatory stakeholder workshops." Objectives include:

  • "Determine the priority audience"... who would be the group of people whose behaviour must change in order to improve the health situation?
  • "Determine the influencing audience(s)...Influencers can be individuals or groups. Their different roles - as friends, family, leaders, teachers, health providers and of course, the media - often determine their level of influence. Consider the following factors to help identify influencing audiences:
    • Who has the most impact on the priority audience’s health-related behavior and what is their relationship to the priority audience?
    • Who makes or shapes the priority audience’s decisions in the problem area?
    • Who influences the priority audience’s behavior positively and who influences it negatively?"
  • "Describe the priority and influencing audience(s)." 
  • "Develop an audience profile for each priority and influencing audience(s)" - in order to "tell the story of that person" through charting "current behaviors, motivation, emotions, values and attitudes, as well as information such as age, income level, religion, sex and where they live." This helps to identify barriers to behaviour change in order to inform message development.

Steps (in summary here, elaborated in the document with illustrations and links to definitions, charts, and templates designed to be of use in the analysis) include:

  • "Step 1: Identify Potential Audience(s)
  • Step 2: Select the Priority Audience
  • Step 3: Identify Priority Audience Characteristics
  • Step 4: Identify Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
  • Step 5: Identify Barriers and Facilitators
  • Step 6: Consider Audience Segmentation
  • Step 7: Identify Key Influencers
  • Step 8: Organize Influencing Audience Information
  • Step 9: Develop Audience Profiles"

The document includes resource links, templates, tips and recommendations, a glossary and concepts section, and sources and citations.


Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) website, May 6 2015; and email from Marla Shaivitz to The Communication Initiative on May 6 2016.