Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How People Use the Mass Media?


The functions of mass com­munication in society could be paralleled by statements about how the media function at the level of the individual. how the individual uses mass communication. At the individual level, the functional approach is given the general name of the uses-and-gratifications model the various uses and gratifications classified  into a four-category:  cognition; diversion; social utility; and withdrawal

Cognition 

Cognition is the act of coming to know something. When a person uses a mass medium to obtain information about something, then he or she is using the medium in a cognitive way. At the individual level, there are two different types of cognitive functions are performed. One has to do with using the media to keep up with information on current events, while the other has to do with using the media to learn about things in general or things that relate to a person's general curiosity. It have found that many people give the following rea­sons for using the media:
·      I want to understand what is going on in the world.
·      I want to know what political leaders are doing.
·      I want to satisfy my curiosity.
·      The media make me want to learn more about things.
·      The media give me ideas.

Diversion

Another basic need of human beings is for diversion. Diversion can take many forms. Some of the forms identified by researchers are
 (1) stimulation, or seeking relief from boredom or the routine activities of everyday life;
(2) relax­ation, or escape from the pressures and problems of day-to-day existence; and
 (3) emotional release of pent-up emotions and energy. Let us look at each of these gratifications in more detail. 
Stimulation Seeking emotional or intellectual stimulation seems to be an inherent motivation in a human being. Psychologists have labeled these activities lucid behaviors"—play, recreation, and other forms of activity that seem to be performed to maintain a minimum level of intellectual activity.. Many people report that they watch, read, or listen simply to pass the time. The media have taken.
Relaxation 
When faced overload, people tend to seek relief. The media are one source of this relief. Watching channels  or reading magazine represents a pleas­ant diversion from the frustrations of everyday life. Some  might relax by listening to serious /cinema classical music. The content is not the defining factor, since virtually any media material might be used for relaxation by some audience members.
Emotional Release
The use of the media for emotional release is fairly obvious. For instance, emotional release can take more subtle forms. One of the big attractions of soap operas, for example, seems to be that many people in the audiences are comforted by seeing that other people have troubles greater than their own. Other people identify with media heroes and par­ticipate vicariously in their triumphs. Such a process evidently enables these peo­ple to vent some of the frustrations connected with their normal lives. Emotional release was probably one of the first functions to be attributed to media content. Aristotle, in his Poetics, talked about the phenomenon of catharsis (a release of pent-up emotion or energy) occurring as a function of viewing tragic plays. In fact, the catharsis theory has surfaced many times since then, usually in connection with the portrayals of television violence.

Social Utility

Psychologists have also identified a set of social integrative needs, including our need to strengthen our contact with family, friends, and others in our society. The social integrative need seems to spring from an individual's need to affiliate with others. The media function that addresses this need is called social utility, and this usage can take several forms. First, we have talked with a friend about a TV program. Or we Have discussed a current movie or the latest record you heard on the radio. If so we are using the media as conversa­tional currency. The media provide a common ground for social conversations, and many people use things that they have read, seen, or heard as topics for dis­cussion when talking with others.

Withdrawal 

At times, people use the mass media to create a barrier between themselves and other people or activities. For example, the media help people avoid certain chores that should be done.
People also use the media to create a buffer zone between themselves and other people. When you are riding a bus or sitting in a public place and do not want to be disturbed, you bury your head in a book, magazine, or newspaper. If we are on an airplane, we might insert a pair of earphones in our ears and tune everybody out. Télevision can perform this same function at home by isolating adults from chil­dren or children from adults .
Content and Context In closing, we should emphasize that it is not only media content that determines audience usage, but also the social context within which the media exposure occurs. For example, soap operas, situation comedies, movie magazines all contain material that audiences can use for escape purposes. People going to a movie, however, might value the opportunity to socialize more than they value any aspect of the film itself. Here the social context is the deciding factor.

It is also important to note that the functional approach makes several assumptions:. Audiences take an active role in their interaction with various media. That is, the needs of each individual provide motivation that channels that individ­ual's media use.
1.   The mass media compete with other sources of satisfaction. Relaxation, for example, can also be achieved by taking a nap or having a couple of drinks, and social utility needs can be satisfied by joining a club or playing touch football.

2.       The uses-and-gratifications approach assumes that people are aware of their own needs and are able to verbalize them. This approach relies heavily on surveys based on the actual responses of audience members. thus, the research technique assumes that people's responses are valid indicators of their motives.

Convergence & Disintermediation

Convergence
The convergence defines as the process of coming together or uniting in a common interest or focus.  The biggest example of corporate convergence was the 2001 merger of "new media" AOL with "old media" lime Warner. The convergence enthusiasts envisioned a future in which each household would have a high-speed broadband connection to the Internet that provided interactive TV. movies on demand, online magazines, e-mail, and Web surfing.

Operational Convergence
Another type of convergence is operational convergence. This occurs when owners of several media properties in one market combine their separate opera­tions into a single effort. For example, The advantages of this type of convergence are obvious. It saves money because rather than hiring a separate news staff for each medium, an operation can have the same reporters produce stories for the paper, Website, and TV operation. In addition, each medium can promote its partners. The TV newscast can encourage readers to visit the website or the print newspaper.Although operational convergence may be good for the media companies, it may not be good for con­sumers. In any case, the jury is still out on the merits of operational convergence.

Device Convergence, combining the functions of two or three devices into one mechanism. Examples of this trend are ;   Many Personal Digital Assistants are combination com­puters and cell phones. Some cell phones incorporate digital video cameras.  addition, if convergence results in a piece of equipment that is too complex to operate, not much is gained.

 Disintermediation
This word refers to the process whereby access to a product or a service is given directly to the consumer, thus eliminating the intermediary, or "middleman," who might typically supply the product or service. 

The Internet and the World Wide Web have created a ubiquitous and easily acces­sible network over which buyers and sellers make direct contact. The Internet has already provided several examples of disintermediation. Travelers bypass travel agents and book airline tickets directly online; traders bypass brokers and pur­chase stocks directly online; consumers bypass salespeople and buy insurance online. (Some businesses have more to fear from disintermediation than others. 

Disintermediation is of obvious concern to mass media organizations. Those media that can easily be distributed over the Internet are the first to feel its effects. lake sound recording, for example:  An author can put a book directly on a website for readers to download, thereby bypassing publishing companies and bookstores altogether.





Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Framing and Media

Definition
Framing is defined as “the action, method, or process, of constructing making or shaping anything whether material or immaterial”.
 Framing comes from the word frame, which has many definitions. The most pertinent one, in this case, is “to share, one’s thoughts, actions, powers, etc. to a certain purpose” (Frame, 1989, p. 142). 
Framing: refers to how messages are encoded with meaning so that they can be efficiently interpreted in relationship to existing beliefs or ideas. 


Framing and the agenda setting

The media was viewed as having the ability to directly persuade and influence audiences . The audience was viewed as passive, simply allowing the media to inject it with ideas.  Research began with McCombs and Shaw’s  found that if news media paid attention to certain issues then viewers rated those issues as more. This was referred to as agenda-setting. Agenda setting refers to the idea that there is a strong correlation between the emphasis that mass media place on certain issues (e.g., based on relative placement or amount of coverage) and the importance attributed to these issues by mass audiences 

 Framing is often associated with agenda-setting research. Agenda-setting is primarily concerned with the media telling people which stories to think about.   However, framing is  cleared that the news media not only tells people what to think about but also how to think about.   It is based on the assumption that how an issue is characterized in news reports can have an influence on how it is understood by audiences. Framing is often traced back to roots in both psychology and sociology .Framing therefore is both a macrolevel and a microlevel construct (Scheufele, 1999). As a macroconstruct, the term ‘‘framing’’ refers to modes of presentation that journalists and other communicators use to present information in a way that resonates with existing underlying schemas among their audience.Framing an issue in terms of financial risks versus social consequences, for example, has little to do with differences in the mode of presentation.


Views of Framing
Framing can be looked at in two main ways- frame-building and frame-setting .
The term frame-building refers to “the factors that influence the structural qualities of news frames.” Framing is applied to how journalists select stories, facts, etc. News frames are formed through internal factors like occupational constraints of journalists, particularly editorial policies and news values and also through external factors like interactions between journalists and elites . Frames inevitably highlight some issues but downplay others . Journalists frame stories in particular ways in order to get people to either read or view. These important factors influence how a frame is built.

Frame-setting is “the interaction between media frames and individuals’ prior knowledge and dispositions . In particular, the way a story is framed can affect what appears as most important, who the victim appears to, who is to blame, etc..


Framing is a quality of communication that leads others to accept one meaning over another. It is the process by which a communication source defines and constructs an issue or controversy. Because issues are often complicated, and require the processing of a great deal of information from a variety of perspectives, frames provide a shorthand understanding of a situation, by focusing only on those features deemed important by the particular individual involved. Frames are therefore interpretive devices that all people use when making sense of the world around them. They aid us in making the difficult task of processing complex and often cumbersome information about our social world much simpler, by focusing our attention only on certain features that we feel are important. All individuals use frames to aid in deciding where and how we fit into the issue and what, if anything, we can do in response. Just as a picture frame is used to create a border around a painting or photograph to crop out unimportant features of the image, an issue frame is used by individuals to crop out particular features of the issue, and to highlight what they feel is important. 

This process of emphasizing certain features of the issue by cropping or downplaying less prominent features allows the most important information to be filtered out from the large pile of information surrounding the dispute. However, different people see certain dimensions of issues in very different ways. What may be of primary importance to one stakeholder may not be important at all to another. Though framing provides a shorthand filtering of essential information, it also can generate conflicts through differing interpretations of a dispute, and disagreements over the importance of its component parts. 

Language helps us to remember information and acts to transform the way in which we view situations. To use language, people must have thought and reflected on their own interpretive frameworks and those of others. Fairhurst and Sarr (1996) described the following Framing Techniques:
 • Metaphor: To give an idea or program a new meaning by comparing it to something else. 
• Stories (myths and legends): To frame a subject by anecdote in a vivid and memorable way.
 • Traditions (rites, rituals and ceremonies): To pattern and define an organization at regular time increments to confirm and reproduce organizational values. 
• Slogans, jargon and catchphrases: To frame a subject in a memorable and familiar fashion.
 • Artifacts: To illuminate corporate values through physical vestiges (sometimes in a way language cannot). 
• Contrast: To describe a subject in terms of what it is not. 
• Spin: to talk about a concept so as to give it a positive or negative connotation

Framing is a useful tool for analysis, because it allows us to view the particular frames that people use when examining a particular issue. If we come to understand the various frames that individuals use to distinguish important from unimportant information, then we can achieve a better understanding of why people take the positions that they do, and we can learn about how and why people respond as they do when interpreting a particular situation. 
How news media outlets frame stories.
Particularly when dealing with political issues, the media frames things in an episodic way or a thematic . An episodic frame focuses of a single, specific event or issue at hand, whereas a thematic frame places issues and events on a larger, more analytical level. Thematic frames are much less common.  Usually  political and election stories are framed in an episodic way, focusing on winning and losing, using a game or competition schema, emphasizing candidates’ style, and highlighting polls .
In 1991, the gulf war dominated media coverage, pushing Bush’s approval ratings to 90% after the war--the highest rating in American history. A short 12 months later, Bush was defeated at the polls. How could one of the most popular presidents in American history lose a subsequent election? There was no publicised scandal, no political gaffe, no international blunder that could explain Bush’s misfortunes. 


 Media Framing: 
Media framing is the process by which an issue is portrayed in the news media. Media frames provide boundaries around a news story and determine what is and is not newsworthy or notable. Journalists rely on media frames to decide what to include in a story and what to leave out, a process that may be conscious, instinctive or culture-bound. Just as a picture frame may draw attention to certain details and relegate other elements to the background, a media frame may draw a viewer's attention to specific parts of a journalist's news story, de-emphasize other parts, and leave out some aspects completely.

 • Media Framing and Youth: When applied to issues affecting children and youth, the way news is framed-the visuals, symbols, inference and language-can trigger two pictures:(1) one picture is of self-absorbed, potentially violent, amoral teenagers; and (2) the other picture is of inexperienced junior adults experimenting with identity in order to assume their role in the community. This act of framing can predispose policymakers and voters to prioritize the allocation of public resources in different ways. In this case, voters may choose prisons over education and volunteer programs. • Gregory Bateson: Anthropologist who fir



The internet & framing
 With the advent of the internet, people can be exposed to many different frames because of the infinite amount of information available online .  These frames may compete with each other giving a more holistic view of a story or issue .   However, the audience also plays a greater role in selecting media and which frames they are exposed to when using the internet which could result in exposure to similar frames and attitude reinforcement .

Counter framing

Counterframing occurs when the news media alter a previous narrative.  This has been studied recently about the Iraq War .  The news media began framing the war in a positive way,  but its frame became much more negative as time .

The internet website, Nikebiz.net as an extension of the Nike corporation, is a good example of both the use of framing and counter framing.. So, counterframing and framing happens within mediated channels of discourse; however, they are not restricted to news media and the internet is afffecting the ways in which messages are constructed and consumed . 


Version 1: Rats Bite Infant An infant left sleeping in his crib was bitten repeatedly by rats while his 16- year-old mother went to cash her welfare check. A neighbor responded to the cries of the infant and brought the child to Central Hospital where he was treated and released in his mother’s custody. The mother, Angie Burns of the South End, explained softly, “I was only gone five minutes. I left the door open so my neighbor would hear him if he woke up. I never thought this would happen in the daylight. “ 

Version 2: Rats Bite Infant: Landlord, Tenants Dispute Blame An eight-month-old South End boy was treated and released from Central Hospital yesterday after being bitten by rats while he was sleeping in his crib. Tenants said that repeated requests for extermin-ation had been ignored by the landlord, Henry Brown. Brown claimed that the problem lay with tenants’ improper disposal of garbage. “I spend half my time cleaning up after them. They throw garbage out the window into the back alley and their kids steal the garbage can covers for sliding in the snow.”

 Version 3: Rat Bites Rising in City’s ‘Zone of death” Rats bit eight-month-old Michael Burns five times yesterday as he napped in his crib. Bums is the latest victim of a rat epidemic plaguing inner-city neighborhoods labeled the “Zone of Death.” Health officials say infant mortality rates in these neighborhoods approach those in many third world countries. A Public Health Department spokesperson explained that federal and state cutbacks forced short-staffing at rat control and housing inspection programs. The result, noted Joaquin Nunez, MD, a pediatrician at Central Hospital, is a five-fold increase in rat bites. He added, “The irony is that Michael lives within walking distance of some of the world’s best medical centers.”

 The stories share little beyond the fact that the child was bitten by rats. Each version is shaped or framed by layers of assumptions. To say each version of the story represents a different frame means that each has a distinct definition of the issue, of who is responsible, and of how the issue might be resolved.Source :https://commconcepts.wikispaces.com/Framing

Media ownership trends in India

There are many media organisations in the country that are owned and controlled by a wide variety of entities including corporate bodies, societies and trusts, and individuals.  Information about such organisations and people is scattered, incomplete, and dated.

A few salient aspects about media ownership 

The sheer number of media organisations and outlets often conceals the fact there is dominance over specific markets in other words, the markets are often oligopolistic in character.

The absence of restrictions on cross-media ownership implies that particular companies or groups or conglomerates dominate markets both vertically (that is, across different media such as print, radio, television and the internet) as well as horizontally (namely, in particular geographical regions).

Political parties and persons with political affiliation own/control increasing sections of the media in India.

The promoters and controllers of media groups have traditionally held interests in many other business interests and continue to do so, often using their media outlets to further these. 
Large industrial conglomerates are acquiring direct and indirect interest in media groups.

Consolidation 
In the last few years there has been a growing consolidation of media organisations across the globe. In the political economy of the media the world over there is clearly an alarming absence of not-for-profit media organisations. Neither subscription- nor advertising revenue-based models of the media have been able to limit this tendency of large sections of the corporate media to align with elite interest groups.  The media is perceived as an active political collaborator as well seeking to influence voters on the basis of loyalty of owners and editors. This can, and often does, limit the free and fair exchanges of views to facilitate democratic decision-making processes.

The Indian media market differs from those of developed countries in several ways. For one, India is a developing country and all segments of the media industry are still growing unlike in developed countries. The media market in India remains highly fragmented, due to the large number of languages and the sheer size of the country.

In India  there were over 82,000 publications registered with the Registrar of Newspapers as on 31 March 2011. There are over 250 FM (frequency modulation) radio stations in the country  – curiously, India is the only democracy in the world where news on the radio is still a monopoly of the government. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has allowed nearly 800 television channels to uplink or downlink from the country, including over 300 which claim to be television channels broadcasting “news and current affairs”. There is an unspecified number of websites aimed at Indians.

The mass media in India is possibly dominated by less than a hundred large groups or conglomerates, which exercise considerable influence on what is read, heard, and watched. One example will illustrate this contention. Delhi is the only urban area in the world with 16 English daily newspapers; the top three publications, the Times of India, the Hindustan Times, and the Economic Times, would account for over three-fourths of the total market for all English dailies.

India’s established media conglomerates have refused to accept the need for restrictions over ownership and control, arguing that this would result in another  forms of censorship of the 1975-77 Emergency.. After all, powerful politicians need media industrialist as much as they need them .  A few randomly-chosen examples would include the Marans of the Sun group, and Chandan Mitra of The Pioneer.

Market dominance

The Hyderabad-based ASCI report pointed out that there is “ample evidence of market dominance” in specific media markets and argued in favour of an “appropriate” regulatory framework to enforce cross-media ownership restrictions,  The government seems unlikely to accept the recommendations of the report prepared by ASCI, which describes itself as an “autonomous, self-supporting, public-purpose” institution.

. It argued for restrictions on vertical integration, that is to say on media companies owning stakes in both broadcast and distribution companies within the same media. The reasoning behind this restriction is that vertical integration can result in anti-competitive behaviour, whereby a distributor can favour his/her own broadcasters’ contents over the content of a competitive broadcaster. In this scenario, large conglomerates would be able to impose their preferred content, a clearly dangerous situation.

Debates on media ownership are almost as old as the nation itself. The country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon would criticize the “jute press” in a clear reference to BCCL which was then controlled by the Sahu-Jain group. Then came references to the “steel press”. The Tata group, which has a substantial presence in the steel industry, used to be a part-owner of the company that publishes the once-influentialThe Statesman.   What was being clearly suggested by politicians was that particular family-owned groups would use their news companies to lobby for their other business interests.

For example, the Dainik Bhaskar group, which, in 1958, ran a single edition Hindi newspaper from Bhopal, has a market capitalization of Rs 4,454 crore (as on July 30. 2010), owns seven newspapers, two magazines, 17 radio stations, and has a significant presence in the printing, textiles, oils, solvent extraction, hotels, real estate, and power-generation industries.


Media companies tend to have a variety of professionals on their boards, such as investment bankers, venture capitalists, chartered accountants, corporate lawyers, and CEOs of big companies. Professional journalists, ironically, rarely figure. As a result, those at the top of the decision-making hierarchy are those for whom the bottom-line, not the by-line, is most important.

Evil of “paid news”

media houses relying on advertisers to fund quality journalism. Advertisers and corporate units begin to rely on news outlets to further their interests. In 2003, Bennett Coleman Company Limited (publishers of the Times of India and the Economic Times, among other publications) started a “paid content” service, which enabled them to charge advertisers for coverage of product launches or celebrity-related events. In the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the more clearly illegal practice of “paid news” emerged and became widespread.

The behind-the-scenes influence of corporate and vested interests was made by the leaking of tapes recording conversations between Niira Radia, a powerful lobbyist with clients such as the Tata group and Reliance Industries, and a variety of business men, politicians, and journalists.

From a business point of view, media consolidation has undeniable advantages. It allows for economies of scale, which enable media companies to absorb the costs of content and distribution over a large volume of revenue. In a competitive market, small media companies have a very hard time surviving. 

A few recent developments point towards the growing corporatization of the India media and the growing convergence between producers of media content and those who distribute the content.


On May 19, 2012, the Aditya Birla group announced that it had acquired a 27.5 per cent stake in Living Media India Limited, a company headed by Aroon Purie. Living Media acts as a holding company and also owns 57.46 per cent in TV Today Network, the listed company that controls the group’s television channels (Aaj Tak and Headlines Today) and a host of publications (including India Today).


Key concerns


The real challenges that lie ahead for the media in India are to ensure that growing concentration of ownership in an oligopolistic market does not lead to loss of heterogeneity and plurality. In the absence of cross-media restrictions and with government policies contributing to further corporatization, especially with respect to the television medium, diversity of news flows could be adversely affected contributing to the continuing privatization and commodification of information instead of making it more of a “public good”.http://www.thehoot.org/web/storypage/6053-1-1-16-true.html

Media Literacy


"Media literacy refers to the knowledge skills and competencies that are required in order to use and interpret the media.  It is morethan functional literacy the ability to sense the programme. It uses an inquiry-based instructional model that encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, see and read. Media literacy education is one means of developing media literacy. It provides tools to help people critically analyze messages to detect propaganda, censorship, and bias in news and public affairs programming (and the reasons for such), and to understand how structural features -- such as media ownership, or its funding mode  affect the information presented.

Media literacy aims to enable people to be skillful creators and producers of media messages, both to facilitate an understanding as to the strengths and limitations of each medium, as well as to create
independent media.

Media literacy is an expanded conceptualization of literacy. By transforming the process of media consumption into an active and critical process, people gain greater awareness of the potential for misrepresentation and manipulation  and understand the role of mass media and participatory media in constructing views of reality."

Media literacy a form of critical  literacy. It involves analysis evaluation and critical reflection. It entails the acquisition of meta language that is means of describing  the forms and structures of different modes of communication. It leads to broader knowledge of the social, economic and institutional contexts of communication and how these affect people's experiences and practices. Media literacy includes the ability to use and interpret media also analytical understanding.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Communication Strategy Design

Development is all about change. Development to be achieved effectively, that change must be agreed to by, and not imposed on, relevant stakeholders or audiences.

Before entering into the various elements of the strategy, the communication specialist should  decide which type of communication mix is needed,  which communication approaches, media, or messages would be most effective to achieve the intended change, and the development communication specialist must look back into the research findings. 


Every design of a communication strategy is unique in content, methods, and media.  To design an effective strategy, a professional needs well-defined, spe­cific, and appropriate objectives that is, based on research, as well as in-depth knowledge in the systems of beliefs, perceptions, and knowledge of the specific issues are all need to be known.  

Core Elements in Designing a Strategy

Main Steps of Communication Strategy Design

1. Defining Objectives: The Key Step

Objectives are the core of the strategy, also each element is important and should be carefully considered. Because each is linked to the others and can affect the final outcome. Most of the success of a communication strategy depends on the way the objectives are identified and formulated.  In designing a communication strategy depends largely on the complexity of the objectives. For instance, a project at a national level may  require different types of communication (corporate, advocacy, and development communicationYour objectives are the key to the success of your communications strategy. They should ensure that your communications strategy is organizationally driven rather than communications driven.  To make strategy design easier, the objectives should be as SMART as possible. that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART). 
All communication objectives should be SMART 
1. Simple and clear 
2. Measurable 
3. Achievable
 4. Reasonable
5. Time and location specific 
 For example, a communication objective might express knowledge or social change. If the programme does not have clear behavioural objectives or the objectives do not clearly express social and behavioural change.  
 Objectives will be easier to monitor and evaluate if they are structured using clear, action words that lend themselves to measurement.   A development of communication objectives starting with the corresponding programme objectives. 

Programme objectives for: 
You must know that the basic purpose of development is to enlarge people’s choices and create an environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives.
 Let us list some of the core areas of development. 
 Agriculture 
 Fisheries 
Animal Husbandry 
 Food Security 
 Communication 
  Environment 
 Income generation activities 
 Education 
 Health and Sanitation 
Family welfare

2. Determining an audiences and Stakeholder Groups

Identifying target audiences

Determining the target audience 
• Who do you want to hear or see your target message?
 Who needs to receive your message? 
• Do you have primary, secondary or tertiary audiences? 
• What is your purpose for reaching the audience? 
 • Do you have the necessary resources to reach your target audience?
 • What are you prepared to invest to achieve your desired result? 
• Does your target audience have any special needs? For example, do they have low literacy rates, limited access to media, or disabilities that may prevent them from receiving your message?
 • Become familiar with your target audience. Depending on your communication aim and objectives, you might want to know: Age and other demographic characteristics, o Geographical location, Problems they want to solve,ducational needs/gaps,  Recreational or leisure interests,  Where the audience likes to get new information.

Target Audience Target audiences are the groups of people that you want to receive your message. Determining  target audience is an essential part of formulating a successful communication strategy.  After figuring out who your target audience is, the next step is to determine the importance of each audience.  Looking at it from a different perspective, the rank of importance could be how much you need the audience .  In order to select the most appropriate media and to design a message effectively, the communication specialist needs to know the norms, values of reference, actions, and aspirations of the audience. This can be achieved by adopting a high degree of empathy and doing proper research. Communicating the scientifically correct infor­mation is seldom enough to change audiences' attitudes and behaviors.

Primary targets audience are those who have the power to effect the changes the campaign calls for. They need to be influenced in order to reach the campaign goal. 

The secondary target audience. Local leaders and opinion-makers, including mass media and religious or other traditional authorities, are key secondary targets in most campaigns because of their power to influence large numbers of people, as well as those who are in a position to make change. In complicated or complex campaigns.

Determining the target audience 
• Who do you want to hear or see your target message?
 Who needs to receive your message? 
• Do you have primary, secondary or tertiary audiences? 
• What is your purpose for reaching the audience? 
 • Do you have the necessary resources to reach your target audience?
 • What are you prepared to invest to achieve your desired result? 
• Does your target audience have any special needs? For example, do they have low literacy rates, limited access to media, or disabilities that may prevent them from receiving your message?
 • Become familiar with your target audience. Depending on your communication aim and objectives, you might want to know: Age and other demographic characteristics, o Geographical location, Problems they want to solve,ducational needs/gaps,  Recreational or leisure interests,  Where the audience likes to get new information. 

source file





3Definition of type/Levels of Change

The communication objectives of approaches within the monologic mode imply a level of change that usually falls within one of the following categories: awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors (or practices) or AKAB. 

Sometimes there is the need to address a change more on a social level, such as mobilizing communities to play an active part in the decentralization effort, having different groups of stakeholders collaborating on a common initiative, or mediating a conflict that has negative repercussions on the social development of the area. Such change is usually addressed by dialogic approaches.

4. Selecting Channel

A deliberate media strategy is needed to identify and effectively use appropriate media. To conducting a situation analysis, defining clear goals, planning action, and deciding how to monitor the process and outcomes of the media strategy. 

The analysis should include a thorough mapping of the media environment, to review existing media and identify the communication channels which are most likely to reach each of your target audiences or audience segments.
  • Communication channels
  • Quantity and quality of media outlets; type of media outlet
  • News cycles: 24-hours (like the BBC or CNN), daily (many newspapers), weekly, monthly (many magazines) etc.
  • Popularity; levels of readership or viewership
  • Types of readership or viewership (e.g. age group, education level)
  • Levels of access by target audience(s)
  • Ideological or other leanings (e.g. media that adopt a certain religious leaning, or that are for/against a particular political party)
  • Non-traditional media outlets: new mediums (e.g. online news sites, blogs), alternative media (not mainstream, NGO-led, including community media outlets)


5. Basics of Message Design


In development, message design should be first and foremost about listening in order to understand and ensure that messages convey what is relevant and needed by stakeholders in a given situation. 

(1) the content design for messages to persuade individuals to change,
(2) the design of materials to stimulate open-ended discussions between different groups of stakeholders,
(3) the design of messages to promote or advocate specific issues, such as public reforms, and

In order to ensure the effectiveness of the desired outputs, when defining or supervising the design of messages, the following basic factors, derived mostly from Designing Messages for Development Communication, should be kept in mind.

Socio cultural sensitivity—Content and presentation should be appropriate for the cultural environment. In a number of cases, cultural issues, not content, were the main cause of a campaign failure. In one case, a campaign was encouraging women to vaccinate their children so they could have healthier and longer lives. But the color of the campaign posters was white, which in that particular culture sym­bolizes death and mourning. It is not difficult to see why the posters were not so effective.

Language appropriateness—This theme overlaps with cultural sensitivity; but it deserves special attention because it is often neglected. To be effective, it is not so important that messages be gram­matically correct or expressed in a scientifically appropriate manner but that they convey the take-away message in a way that relates to audiences' way of life and understanding.

Political compatibility—The degree of free expression and transparency varies significantly among countries.    professionals should be able as much as possible to avoid confrontations that could be detrimental to the achievement of the agreed-upon objectives.


Psychological appropriateness—It is imperative that each message resonates with its specific audience. Each message should have a specific appeal that catches audi­ences' attention. Appeals can be diverse in approach and nature. They can be rational—highlighting safety; economic effectiveness, health, and other similar issues, or emotional—appealing to ambition, attraction, fear, embarrassment, romance, or a sense of belonging. 

6. Outputs/Result:

Outputs can include the reach of broadcast or other mass media, message recall, number of household visits,  degree of use of communication skills by workers, number of community action plans developed, etc. Outcomes would be any resulting knowledge or behaviour change in any participant group: parents bringing children for complete vaccination over time, local leaders supporting programme activities through specific actions, more women breastfeeding exclusively, timely care seeking for children with respiratory infections, zero open defecation, more dialogue between adolescents and parents (on specified topics). Impact is the ultimate change in a beneficiary's quality of life such as, lower mortality of neonates, lower rates of child marriage and use of dowry, polio free country, higher school completion rates and improved learning competencies, etc. Many factors beyond communication contribute to these results- less corruption.

The communication strategy will now have accomplished the following: 
■ The participant groups involved in the programme intervention will be identified-primary, secondary and tertiary.
 ■ Through research, which has used as much as possible, community participation, will have revealed a lot about the social and cultural issues influencing participants' behaviours. 
■ The behaviours and practices to promote and change will have become clear. 
■ The channels and media will have been selected according to participants, behaviours and social norms to be changed, complexity of messages, and so on.
■ Communication components will be strategically selected and adapted to achieve each communication objective. 
■ Communication indicators of intermediate outcomes will be identified. The strategy document should be disseminated in the draft stage for comments from the Communication Coordination Group and other key stakeholders; and in its finished form, to a wider circle of stakeholders, counterparts and partners.