Don't just think of audience in terms of for or against. Think in terms of a spectrum of interest from the strongly supportive to the implacably opposed. The job of your campaign is to take each of these audiences on a journey that favours your cause. Focus on the most influential. Start from your own end of the spectrum. Do not neglect stakeholders, especially if you are campaigning from within a large organisation. Stakeholders may or may not be supporters of your campaign but they do have an influence over its progress and outcome. You can win your campaign without winning over all of your adversaries. You will never win over the implacably opposed or their close allies so don't try. But you can neutralise their effect. Treat the media as an audience in its own right, one which can be cultivated and made sympathetic to your cause. Good campaigns treat each of these audiences with respect and switch focus between them at different phases of the campaign.

Audience spectrum

Diagrams: Audience spectrum diagram

Source: A different view

  1. Extreme support or opposition, entrenched opinion, but can be dug out.
  2. Supporters or opponents, with vested interests in their position. Able to influence extreme positions and therefore very important as advocates in deal making.
  3. Indirectly involved influential audiences. Can be drawn in to tilt the balance.
  4. General audience inclined to support or opposed. Moveable feasts!
  5. Centre ground neutral audiences.

NOTE. Learn to look at your campaign from both ends of the spectrum.