Four Creative Ways to Research Your Target Audience

When people think of public relations, they often think of the glamorous Samantha Jones-type in “Sex in the City” – but it’s usually much more mundane than that. Don’t get me wrong, we do chat with media on a daily basis, oversee some pretty cool events and travel a lot, but more often than not we are buried deep in research. What are we researching, you ask? Usually searching for the best contacts and audiences for the next client outreach campaign.

While it can be daunting to think about, stepping outside of the box to research a target audience can bring in great results and maybe even find a few customers or contacts you hadn’t considered before!

Here are four creative ways to get to know your audience better:

Social Media
Social media is the perfect place to get in touch with a company’s target audience. Not only should their target audience be following along, but analytics should be dissectible at a touch of a finger.

  • Facebook: Luckily, Facebook has a powerful and free analytics tool—Facebook Insights—that allows you to easily measure the performance of your business’s page.Facebook Insights tracks likes, page views, reach, and more.
  • Instagram: If you have a business account on Instagram, you automatically have access to their free analytics tool, InstagramInsights. Instagram Insights helps you learn more about your followers and the people interacting with your business on Instagram. For example, you’ll find insights such as gender, age range and location. You can also see which posts and stories your audience sees and engages with the most.

Competitors
Nothing like a little friendly competition to spice things up! By using your competitors’ recent social media posts, articles and followers as a guide, you can compare your content and audience to what they’re doing. You can focus on the followers your competitors have in common to learn more about them and their behavior.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics may not be the most creative way to find your target audience, but it’s an extremely in-depth way to take a look at your audience and learn more about them.

The Audience section provides an ample amount of information about the people who visit your website, such as their age, gender, location, interests, browsers, and mobile devices. It also provides data on how people were driven to your website. This is where you can see your social media referral traffic.

Analyze
Once you determine what types of services or products you will be providing; you can begin analyzing who your target audience might look like. Is your brand unique, modern and forward looking? If so, your target audience will be completely different than if your brand is professional, traditional and sophisticated. Take stock in your service or product and understand what benefit it provides. Once you’ve listed out your benefits, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills.

Overall, there are plenty of ways to reach your target audience, but the overarching commonality is really understanding others’ wants and needs. Once you are able to come out of yourself and your business, finding your target audience can be simple.

Think your business could benefit from identifying or learning more about its target audience? Check out our services page!




Dittoe PR Hits Another Hole-in-One at the 2019 BMW Championship

Since 2012, Dittoe PR has worked alongside the Western Golf Association to promote the BMW Championship, the penultimate event in the FedExCup Playoffs that invites the 70 best golfers in the world to compete for a $9 million prize. 2019 marked Dittoe PR’s fourth BMW Championship partnership to date and we were thrilled to be back. Held at the iconic Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, our team of PR experts were excited for another year of building awareness and stimulating excitement around the tournament’s return to the Chicago suburbs.

Building Awareness Pre-Tournament
One major change for the 2019 BMW Championship was the date change, with the tournament moving from September to August. This shift allowed us to no longer compete with the back-to-school season or the return of NFL and NCAA football. Despite losing a month of promotion efforts, it allowed us to break through the noise and dominate the month of August.

During the months leading up to the tournament, Dittoe PR built brand awareness for the tournament by utilizing various pitching angles to secure meaningful media coverage. These efforts included promoting holiday ticket packages, spectator initiatives and newsworthy hospitality options.

Another key tactic in our strategy to secure top-tier coverage in the Chicagoland area was being able to promote important spokespeople from the PGA TOUR, Western Golf Association and the Medinah Country Club. For instance, we were able to leverage notable PGA TOUR players like Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley as well as golf analysts Steve Sands and Mark Rolfing. By working with such notable talent, we were able to deliver new perspectives and insights for the tournament, leading to pre-promotional coverage in outlets such as the Aurora Beacon-News, WGN Radio, 670 The Score, Daily Herald and more.

Dittoe PR also assisted in the planning for the annual media day for the BMW Championship. Through our efforts, the BMW Championship Media Day invited more than 75 attendees, which led to more than 25 pieces of media coverage for an estimated ad rate of $226,000.

Tournament Week
In addition to all the national outlets that typically cover golf, such as ESPN, The New York Times and Golfweek who attend every major PGA TOUR tournament, we spent the week inviting media contacts outside the sports vertical to come on-site at Medinah Country Club and highlight the 2019 BMW Championship.

One noteworthy story angle during tournament week was a new hospitality venue called “Tiny House”, a 320-square-foot venue valued at $95,000 that was located just feet away from the 14th hole. This amenity allowed one lucky fan to stay in the “Tiny House” throughout tournament week and stay overnight at the historic club – which was never been done at a PGA TOUR event. This opportunity provided an amazing, one-of-a-kind tailgating experience for the golf fan and 15 of his guests. This feature garnered coverage with numerous outlets in the regional area such as WGN-TV and with national outlets such as Forbes.com.

In addition to stellar print and digital coverage, NBC Chicago also came on-site and did an entire live morning show from Medinah Country Club, which included numerous hits from the course as well as traffic and weather reports. We also invited meteorologist and traffic reporters to get out of the studio and deliver their reports from Medinah Country Club. By taking advantage of every media medium available, we were able to maximum the reach of the story and expand the audience.

The Evans Scholars Foundation
In addition to promoting the 2019 BMW Championship, Dittoe PR also proudly promotes the Evans Scholars Foundation, which is the sole charitable beneficiary of the BMW Championship. This organization provides full tuition and housing scholarships to deserving young caddies with limited financial needs.

Evans Scholars have an important presence at every BMW Championship and had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing initiatives, many of which drove compelling storylines for media coverage.

For instance, for the first time in more than a decade, Evans Scholars recipient got caddie for the pros during the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, the largest single-day fundraising event for the Foundation. This gave Scholars like Sarahi Ortiz the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to caddie for golf legends like 81-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods.

As part of another initiative with the Evans Scholar’s Foundation, Dittoe PR coordinated with the PGA TOUR for Grammy-award winning artist Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish to surprise an Evans Scholar with a signed guitar and tickets to an upcoming show. This meet-and-greet lead to stories in outlets such as CMT.com.

The Evans Scholars also received a final treat with a surprise meet-and-greet with members of the Chicago Bears, including quarterback Mitch Trubisky and cornerback Kyle Fuller. You can read about this special moment in the Chicago Tribune.

Results
In total, more than 130,000 spectators attended the 2019 BMW Championship, and Dittoe PR secured more than 491 media hits, resulting in more than $8.4 million in total publicity value. We’re pleased to say these numbers made this tournament the most successful to date.

We’re so proud to have played such an integral role in the 2019 BMW Championship and look forward to continuing to work with the Western Golf Association for the for the 2020 BMW Championship, which is set to take place at the Olympia Fields Country Club.

Four Mistakes In Your Crisis Communications Plan

*Spoiler Alert*: This post contains spoilers from Spider-Man: Far From Home

Let’s say you’re Spider-Man. You just got done saving the world from Mysterio when that jerk releases your secret identity to the world. Sounds like a crisis for Peter Parker, amirite? While MCU fans will have to wait a couple years to find out how the web-slinger responds, you shouldn’t hesitate to start planning your own crisis communications plans. Hopefully evil, power-hungry maniacs aren’t going to set you up, but there are a myriad of other situations that could happen to your company at any given moment. Today we’re going to dive into a couple common mistakes when it comes to crisis communication plans and how to avoid them, should you need to avenge your company’s reputation.

Thinking you’ve planned for it all.
When you traditionally think of a crisis communication plan, you imagine sitting down to think of every worst-case scenario. That method is no longer applicable in a digital age, and the truth is that those situations are hard to predict. Thinking of things that could go wrong is a first step, but it shouldn’t be the last. “If This, Then This” statements are an important part of the process, but they can no longer stand alone. The ITTT statements need to be specific, actionable, and flexible. A data breach or e-mail hack is a very different type of crisis than say an oil spill or a loss-of-life situation. By knowing that you can’t predict the future, you can develop a plan to respond to decisions that need to be made, not situations that have arisen.

Not identifying a clear point person.
It used to be that when a crisis hit, you had a little bit more leeway time to meet together, draft a statement, and then respond. Now, thanks to social media and the 24/7 news cycle, a delayed response can almost do as much damage as whatever the incident is that you need to address. In order to make sure your team is prepared, identify ahead of time who can approve statements, tweets, and make decisions. In the middle of a crisis, the CEO might not be available to sign off on the statement you’re posting to your social media accounts, but if it’s decided in advance that someone else can make that call, you’re saving valuable time down the road.

Ignoring social media.
This brings us to our next point: Ignoring your social media accounts in a crisis is a common mistake that is easily avoidable. No matter your industry or your company size, any sort of crisis is likely to play out in one way or another on social media, as social media channels have evolved into trusted sources of information. This can be key if you feel as though your message isn’t being framed correctly in traditional media. Social media allows for fast, interactive communications that are directly stating your positions. Have a plan in place for who can draft, approve, and send tweets. Then have backups for your backups, in case every community manager’s worst nightmare comes true and a crisis happens while they’re on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

Ignoring your employees.
When you’re trying to put out a figurative fire that’s surrounding the building, it’s important to remember the people inside. Don’t just share your statements/talking points with your C-Suite. Have a plan for dispersing key messaging and important contact information company wide. As part of your planning process, alert all employees to the crisis procedure so they know when and if to wait for further instructions in the moment. Make sure every single person, no matter if they’re the intern or the head of accounting, has a copy of your responses to media and information on where to direct inquiries. That way should a reporter get ahold of the accounts payable department, those employees will know who to pass them off to and be confident in what they can or can’t say.

No one wants to wake up and find your company’s name in headlines, just like no one wants to find out that their secret identity has been leaked to the Daily Bugle. However, should that situation occur, keeping your crisis communications plan updated will at least make the road a little less bumpy, if not entirely smooth.