Accomplish What? Provide Information

(One-way communication)

Often our primary outreach or education goal is simply to ensure that our target audience has the information people need to take an action that they have already committed to. We may want to get the word out about a meeting or public participation opportunity, or we may want to provide instructions to individuals or groups who know what they want to do.

Sometimes we may want to provide a more general message, such as a stewardship message, to begin a process of raising awareness about a topic.

NOTE: A target audience is a segment of the population that has a specific opportunity to take action on the problem you have identified. The target audience may also be a segment of the population that is specifically affected by the problem you have identified.

For more information about when to use one-way communication, consult one or more of the following Knowledge Areas:


1. Communicate broadly using multiple venues (newsletters, town meetings, TV, festivals, etc.).

2. Before developing your information message, use social marketing techniques to improve understanding of target audience needs.

  • Identify and address individual barriers to preferred behavior (e.g. a tag on an outside faucet helps residents to remember when to water);
  • Identify and address social or structural barriers to preferred behavior (e.g. encourage recycling by providing curbside pick-up)

3. If addressing behaviors in your information initiative, present behaviors that:

  • Provide immediate, observable consequences.
  • Are similar to what people already do.
  • Do not require a lot of steps or training.
  • Are relatively low cost in terms of time, energy, money, materials.


Getting In Step, A Guide for Conducting Watershed Campaigns – available from U.S. EPA: