Understand Your Audience

The role of a communicator is to tell your organisation’s story, to get the word out on a new initiative or event or to keep your employees, members, supporters, sponsors and stakeholders informed about your news, products/services and special offers. It is important that you consider your audience to be as broad and as diverse as possible, that way you will avoid unintentionally excluding people from your communications.

You should presume that every group you are working with, or expect to work with, includes people with communication support needs. This includes members of the public and your colleagues.

Inclusive communication should be considered at all times, whether providing information or planning an event, meeting or activity. Good communication practice will help you reach your target audience more effectively and allow people to access services on an equal basis.

Good Practice Example:

Some ideas to support people with communication needs:

  • Some people may require the support of a British Sign Language interpreter or a palantypist
  • Some people may require information in alternative formats, for example audio or large print
  • Some people may need the support of advocacy services
  • Some people may have difficulty using a phone and may prefer a one-to-one meeting with communication support
  • Some communication needs are less obvious and other support may be required. This might include head and body language, simple gestures, photographs, drawings, cartoons or symbols
  • To ensure you can provide communication accessible services, it is good practice to allow time to arrange different formats or communication support depending on the needs of your audience

Source: Principles of Inclusive Communication