Breakout Session 2: Using Audience Insights to Deliver a Step Change in our Narrative

Delegates at the Dóchas Conference 2018

This session featured Will Tucker (communications expert), Karen Kennedy (Head of Strategy and Impact, Trócaire) and John Sutton (Managing Director, Persuasion Republic), with Eilish Dillon (Coordinator of the MA in Development Studies, Kimmage DSC) chairing. 

Participants discussed how we can interpret data to improve how we engage with the public. The session included key insights on the UK’s Aid Attitudes Tracker analysis, as well as findings from a recent public survey in Ireland. We asked how insights such as these can help us to reach the right audiences.

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

  • We need to work together to understand who our audience is, at what level they are engaged with the work that we do, and what kind of messaging works for them.

  • This analysis can be used to develop a collaborative coordinated messaging, which everyone across the sector can use. This messaging would reflect the complexity of the world we live in, without overwhelming. We need to meet people where they are, at their levels of understanding and engagement. 

  • Positive messages work - they inspire, engage, create a connection and raise funds!

  • We need to harness the power and lived experiences of the new Irish from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, who can tell their story better than we can.

  • The SDGs are a powerful framework to communicate and educate. Using their universal principles, we can connect with people.

  • Development education is still a very potent way to create global solidarity and encourage global citizenship.

The presentation slides from the session can be downloaded below.