All good communications plans identify a target audience, or audiences. Unfortunately, too many target “the general public”.

 There are two main problems with this: it’s rarely true and nearly impossible to measure.

 It’s rarely true because there are few communications efforts that truly aim to reach the entire population. Those that do should think about creating custom versions tailored to specific audience segments. It’s nearly impossible to measure because, to do so, you have to find out if you achieved your objective with “the general public” – and that is a nearly impossible to effectively measure.

 A key power of social media is the ability to target niche audiences – and measure how well you did. This is especially relevant to the federal government that has a communications policy mandating all communications reflect the diversity of Canadian society. This must be top of mind when developing communications plans and should lead to questions like:

 •are Canada’s diverse cultural communities talking about our department or agency’s issues?

•if so, where are those conversations happening?

•if they’re not sharing on the major social networks like Facebook, YouTube or Twitter are they doing it somewhere else?

•do we have a presence in the places where they are sharing and if not, should we?

Do you know how to find out where people of different cultures share online?