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We help universities engage with the public

Understanding your audience

An important part of any public engagement work is to think about the people you want to engage with. A common answer to this question is the 'public' – but who are the public and how can you ensure that you engage with them effectively?

Whether you are interested in disseminating your research findings, or working in partnership with community groups to collect data you will need to consider ways to ensure your planned activity is appropriate and relevant to the target audience so they can effectively contribute to your research.

Often people talk about engaging with the public. However, the 'public' is everyone: your family and friends, your line manager, a school pupil, potential future funders or members of your local community. It is often helpful to break this down into different types based on categories such as age, gender, ethnicity, location and interests. 

Examples include: 

  • Schools and colleges (primary, secondary and further education)
  • Families and children
  • Young people (aged 18-25)
  • Adults
  • Local communities, community groups
  • Business and industry
  • Government and policy makers

You can read more about understanding your target audience by downloading the PDF below.