A Shift in Audience

Who is the next, immediate audience for your research? These are the people who will take up your research and translate it for others–their next users. Strategically, these audiences are partners, and your work together could change everything: a government partner that can find policy and funding support, a philanthropic partner who has geographic connections, a community organisation that has a 100,000 person mailing list. In contrast, the end beneficiaries of your research might be people you never meet or hear about. For example, participants ten years from now could do a training module informed by your research and developed by your partner without you ever knowing. Alternatively, in some contexts, you could always want to begin by co-creating with the end beneficiaries, for example, directly engaging with the people living in a Victorian town devastated by bushfires.

Either way, this shift in audiences is profound. The relationships are multifaceted, strategic, nuanced and dynamic. The expectations, values, missions and workflow might be different for every partner and there could be multiple sector partners on one project. If some are true collaborators, others might be people who just want to be informed or consulted. You might be defining the mission or getting on board with someone who has been in this research context for decades.