Primary audiences are those who receive the communication directly. Secondary, or "hidden", audiences include anyone who may indirectly receive a copy of the communication. These include anyone who will receive a copy, need to approve, will hear about, or be affected by your message. You should determine the level of knowledge, interest, and any potential biases the audience may have with regard to your message.

The primary audience is the decision-maker and/or decision-making body and the secondary audience is the group(s) of people that you identify, educate and activate to influence the primary audience

For example, your organization seeks to utilize some of its resources to develop tangible programs that K-12 students in your school district can participate in and reap valuable educational experiences.  In your case, the primary audience might be the county school board, if that is the decision-making body that designs the public school curriculum and allocates the funding and teachers for such programs.  The secondary audience could include the PTA, parents, students, faculty groups, and business groups that understand the critical thinking, problem solving and leadership skills provided by comprehensive and fully integrated  programs.


In applying this model, your media committee would begin by ascertaining that your list of primary and secondary audiences is correct and complete.  Are there other groups to be found within each audience?  You might wish to consider the state legislature or governor another primary audience if they allocate educational funding.  Making a formal request to other secondary audiences, or special groups, may induce them to support your goal.