In response to the discussion in week two, these are my thoughts in knowing your audience.
Our audience needs to feel valued and connected to the radio. We should ask questions like what are the listener’s needs and interests. This will help the presenter package content in relation to the needs. Some of the ways of knowing your audience include:
Conduct community dialogues
Community dialogues are a good way to knowing and understanding your audience because of the ideas shared on particular issues like reproductive health, climate change, women and children’s rights. The dialogues help in asking questions to a particular focus group like women, male youth, female youth and Persons with Disabilities and the content generated forms the basis for programme packaging not forgetting other ways like surveys, listeners groups. At Mama Fm we usually conduct community dialogues on health particularly and it is interesting to understand how men and women perceive the radio and what they would like to hear more on air. From these community dialogues, Mama FM has organized a number of Agricultural trainings at the radio station. Listeners are invited to learn from experienced urban and commercial farmers, etc. Therefore, besides the radio program helping the listeners to improve their farming methods, they also get an opportunity to interact with other farmers face to face. The listeners do not pay any money to attend the trainings because of the partnerships we built with experts, but are encouraged to come with a pen, note book and lunch.
Bring the listeners to Studio
Hosting them in the programs as guests, with the experts builds the relations and dedication. When a farmer is hosted in the radio programme to share his or her experience and he gets feedback from the listeners this helps the presenter to clearly understand their needs and thereafter follow up on the issues raised. It also helps the producer to package content in the interests of the listeners. Hosting of experts can be done once in a while like I mentioned earlier about the community dialogues, the issues raised that the listeners would like to be addressed or need answers can be handled by the expert so it should not be an expert farmer radio program rather an interactive program from both sides. The farmer needs to feel 100% level of ownership of the program.