It may be difficult to get a good grasp of your target audience. In which case, it can be useful to use a persona – an imaginary stand-in who represents the target audience. A persona is a useful tool to use when working out your communication plan. Once you have imagined this fictional person, you can then determine the most appropriate plan.


  • Use a picture to give the persona a face, and hang it up somewhere. This will regularly remind you of the target audience.
  • In small groups, have other colleagues create their own personas at the same time and compare what everyone comes up with.

What’s the value of this?

Working with a persona is a way to make the target audience more real. This technique can be used when researching media consumption or when setting up a website, for example, in order to get an idea of user expectations and search behaviours. It can also be useful to use the persona to go back and explore involvement: What is this person’s relationship with the government? How does this issue concern them? What role do they want or can they have?