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Understand your audience

In food risk and benefit communication it is necessary to tailor communication according to the needs of the targeted audience and not to the needs of the information source.

Who or what is affected by the hazard or risk can also have an impact on risk perception and this, in turn, affects the targeting of communications in relation to appropriate audiences and communications channels. For example, it is possible to be more focussed with communications targeting a particular at-risk group than with communications for an unknown audience. Secondly, it is important to realize that consumers can take an active role in becoming informed and seek information themselves. Besides knowing who your audience is, it is important to realize who influences this audience. Perhaps the most important source of information about food quality and safety is the mass media. However the importance of internet and social media has introduced a new set of influencers that should be acknowledged and from a communicators perspective, it is also necessary to correctly inform them.


Following elements are discussed:

In which ways do consumers become informed about food risks and benefits.

How to identify key influencers and increase effectiveness of communication towards them.

This section aims to enable better understanding of different research methods to gain better insights about how, when and what to communicate to consumers.

More information does not necessarily mean better informed consumers.

Method selection decision aid

Take this short quiz to learn what are the best 3 methods to understand your audience and answer your research question(s).