Audience Advocacy: Research that benefits participants?

Audience development and audience advocacy describe two different ways that organisations apply our findings.

Coppice designed Insite Mapping with the specific purpose of using it to benefit audiences. We seek different groups, defined by how they use media sites and contents as well as their pattern of interests.

With audience development, we use the research findings to suggest new audiences for a program or exhibition. Changing contents can cultivate new audiences and increase audiences overall. Audience development usually has a creative purpose. New forms of communication can address existing audiences more successfully, especially if there are surprises in the results.

Audience advocacy applies research in a different way. The most important aspect is making the diverse audiences and users visible. The research documents the main audiences, defined by their patterns of use and need. With audience advocacy, we often partner with a community organisation that needs detailed accounts of everyday activity. For example, we surveyed train users for Save Our Rail, just before the government cut off trains to Newcastle CBD.

Our reports show the words that participants use to tell about their experiences.  This makes it more likely that people reading the results will ‘get it’ and be inspired to work to benefit audience members and users. It also demonstrates that there is never a single, homogenous audience.