The Mindful Messaging by Spitfire Strategies provides suggestions for how to analyze a target audience and adapt messaging to create a more effective communications strategy, with numerous examples from successful advocacy efforts in the U.S. Each section contains a series of questions to guide messaging decisions.
Beyond thinking through the basic demographics of an audience, Mindful Messaging’s key insight is incorporating “psychographic” analysis into messaging strategy: taking into account the psychological factors that lead people to particular beliefs and actions. The guide highlights six particularly important psychographics: worldview, badges and tribes, polarization, implicit beliefs and bias, lived experience and habit. Once you’ve identified how these factors influence your target audience, you can adapt communications for greater impact. For example, if your target audience rejects a proposed policy change because of a deeply held belief, focusing messaging on another part of their worldview that better aligns with your position can help win their support. Finally, the guide uses examples to demonstrate several techniques to put psychographic insights into practice, including tapping into social currency, reducing the fear of stigma, telescoping and pre-suasion.
This resource is relevant for users engaging stakeholders and the public through messaging campaigns, including elected officials, political parties and civil society organizations.