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How to choose your key segments

Britain Talks Climate is designed to equip campaigners and communicators with the insights they need to shape the national debate in a way that draws on shared values and avoids division. It also provides rich concepts for creating a more emotional connection with different segments, using messages and messengers that start from where they are, while creating pressure for change that is much more reflective of today’s society.

We hope these insights help you to:

    • challenge assumptions about public engagement on climate
    • craft new angles that engage an existing audience more deeply or lengthen the spectrum of people you reach
    • formulate new values-based public policy 
    • carry out further research against the seven segments, using the ‘golden questions’ described in the next section  
    • identify and target mass segments online in a measurable way

The questions below are also available as a downloadable PDF.

Questions for team discussion

    • Do we know who we are currently targeting?
    • Do we over- or under-estimate our potential reach?
    • Do we think we could deepen / expand our base? 
    • Which segments should we focus on and why?
    • Which segments should we not focus on and why?
    • What are the main challenges / opportunities for our existing segments and the new ones we want to reach?
        • How can we best channel the ambition of the Progressive Activists and their role in pushing the boundaries of the debate? How do we engage them without alienating other groups, and vice versa? 
        • What are the totemic issues that Backbone Conservatives can really own? How can we create a compelling story on climate, distinct from the left but which accommodates the same policy ambition?
        • How can we move climate change further up the list of issues that Civic Pragmatists care about? How can we push them beyond personal signalling towards greater political activism?
        • How can we tell a more positive story to Established Liberals? How can we use their cultural reach to advance arguments about green growth and societal progress? 
        • How can we prove to the Disengaged Battlers that we’re on their side? How can we demonstrate that the green jobs argument is more than just a political promise? What do we do if there aren’t enough jobs?
        • How can we build trust among Disengaged Traditionalists? How do we talk about climate without talking about climate?
        • How can we avoid triggering anti-immigration sentiment among Loyal Nationals? How do we mobilise them in opposition to big polluters?
    • How can we mobilise different segments in a way that still feels coherent?
    • Are any of our messages divisive and how can we ensure they don’t reach the wrong segment?

Questions for communicators and campaigners when thinking about how to reach each segment

    • What are the real-world benefits of ambitious climate action for them?
    • What does inclusion in the climate conversation look like for them?
    • How will they hear information about a specific policy, such as electric boilers?
    • How will they react to a particular narrative, such as climate justice?
    • What are their divisive issues and why? Do we need to avoid them, or can we frame them in a way they won’t reject and may even welcome?
    • Who are the most effective messengers for this segment?
    • What kind of presentation (setting, tone etc.) will turn them on/off the message?
    • Where do they spend their time, online and offline?

Questions for political strategists when thinking about how to use the insights for influence

    • How can we use the segmentation to influence the government? 
    • In what way can the insights help us in a power-dominated policy context?
    • How can they be used to inform MPs about how they talk to their constituents?
    • How else can they be applied in constituencies that carry the most political capital?
    • What are the common threads between those on the left and right of politics? What about the centre-right and far-right?
    • Do the insights provide any unexpected ‘glue’ that could be used to achieve cross-party consensus?

Continue exploring

How to segment your audiences


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