Why you should customise audience messaging in PR

personalising your messaging in public relations management

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by Queen Nwabueze

Emphasising the reality that Public Relations (PR) is all about influence can never be too much.

When we say influence, let’s say it like it is. Influence – not tricks, bullying, lies or distortions. Not outright spins.

The indispensable question is, “why would a brand or client pay good money to communicate if they are not expecting some return on investment in the form of influence or buy-in?”

That’s right! Organisations do not communicate because they are charity.

They do because they want something in return from their various publics categories. And that is, patronage in every meaning of the word.

Worth reiterating is that what brands actually want depends on the various audience categories. They want consumers to buy their products or use their services. They want activists to leave them alone. They want host communities to support the construction of a new plant in their backyard, for instances.

News, Embassy, Info, Newsletter, Message, Messages, Boy

PR messaging is not a one-size-fits-all

Apparently, it translates that PR efforts should not result to the production of only one kind of messaging to cater for all members of the audience.

Therefore, why is PR in Nigeria about generating one kind of communication hoping it will accommodate ALL audiences?

The hackneyed practice is about developing a press release and blasting it out to every publication, whether it is a trade publication, general interest newspapers, specialised newspapers, news or entertainment magazines etc. Just one press release! Whereas these are different audiences, each, with unique information need.

Why just one press release for different audience?

Oh well, from experience, the realest reason for the ‘conservative’ practice is simple. Cost! The cost of producing multiple versions of one release can be staggering. So what we do is keep the per-unit cost of press releases as low as possible. Clients might not be ready to pay for the cost, anyway. Of course, they might wish not to understand why they should pay even if explanation came from a renowned teacher.

Another challenge could be laziness on the part of the agency or PR manager. They consider it a drudgery to write differently for different audience and media. But, it’s sad. It is unprofessional too.

More teary is that the exact copy of press release leveraged in the traditional media is what is slammed in the blog.

Going forward, do kindly note that there are peculiarities for writing e-press release.

Newspaper, Paper, Newsprint, Daily Newspaper

Messaging should be personalised

The industry must recognise that the world is different now. This time around, life is audience-centric – beyond media saturation. Everyone feels they deserve to be marketed to as an individual and not as a group. They hunger for messages personally sewn for them.

The one-size-fits-all practice has become indeed clichéd.

Each individual expects to get exactly the information he needs – information that answers his specific questions.

Technology has not changed everything. No! It has not changed client service relations. Sorry.

People still expect to be treated like the individuals that they are. They expect to be taken care of so they can invest their loyalty to your brand. They now call the shots so expect messaging that speaks to them without lisping.

To facilitate the desired action, tailored messaging and tailored media are the answer. It’s the new rule!

Communication, Letters, Envelope, Write, Greetings

Don’t be carried away. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) didn’t change people’s specific desire for custom-made messages.

Okay. Let’s use these story lines of this client of mine as a case in point. In a publicity plan to announce BSN Doctor of Business Administration. These story lines served: “Business School Netherlands targets senior executives for doctorate in business admin.” This was leveraged in ALL platforms (print, broadcast, digital media). But a message from same campaign with the intent of speaking to the business community alone read: “Nigeria corporate executives to research business practices in BSN doctorate programme.” Business Day, Thisday were great platforms. Another slug, “BSN Nigeria to enhance youth employability with CSR programme “ went to The Sun, The Punch, Vanguard and soft sells.

Welcome Sign, Garden Sign, Garden Decor, Welcome Home


Truly, you can see that customising messages for your various target audience is the key to earning some good market share in this age of stiff competition and varieties. To resonate, messaging must be knitted according to the various classes of your audience.

Clients and agencies, please work this out.

Enjoyed this? Kindly check out OUR SERVICES page for a thing or two to hoist your brand higher. We have a lot of PR services in there too.

Deep thanks.

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