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Deep Audience Analysis: A Proposed Method for Analyzing Audiences for Environment-Related Communication

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Purpose: In this article I propose an audience analysis instrument designed to assess representative members of a desired target population's underlying predispositions in terms of the sources of information they privilege, their motivations toward environment-related action, and the commonplaces that impact their perceptions of environment-related communication. The goal of this method is to offer a time- and cost-effective instrument that enables organizations to easily classify an audience's interest in environmentalism, assess their willingness to listen to and accept environment-related messaging, and pinpoint the commonplace elements likely to be most useful in constructing environment-related communication.

Method: I developed the interview, coding sheet, instructions for completing the process, and glossary that make up the Deep Audience Analysis instrument from existing data presented elsewhere (Ross 2013, 2012, 2008), and refined the instrument through both participatory design and usability testing.

Results: The results of my testing suggest that the Deep Audience Analysis tool I propose is both valid and reliable, but training with the instrument would prove beneficial, and triangulation with multiple coders is optimal. Organizations adopting this method of audience analysis would do well to practice with the instrument and have norming sessions before putting the instrument to use in the field.

Conclusion: The audience analysis instrument I propose here includes an interview script, code sheet, instructions for completing the process, and glossary. The method proposed here should serve as a time- and cost-effective paper-based strategy for organizations wishing a deeper understanding of their audience(s).
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Keywords: AUDIENCE ANALYSIS; ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION; ENVIRONMENTAL RHETORIC; ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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