Developing an audience is the systematic process of broadening your audience. That might be engaging new audiences, or deepening and sustaining existing audience engagement with your content, whatever your medium.
In practice, you can take a multitude of approaches to develop your audience. Like with any process involving engagement with marginalised communities, there are inherent power dynamics you should be aware of.
For example, some organisations might develop their content first, offering it to an audience later. This can unintentionally introduce what is called cultural gatekeeping.
Cultural gatekeeping is when decisions in the creative process restrict what’s considered ‘culture’, and what isn’t. As a result, what’s considered art or culture in the Australian creative industries often ends up being Anglocentric, with a distinct lack of ethnocultural diversity. Moreover, content that is about an ethnoculturally diverse community is often conveyed exclusively through a whiter gaze, excluding the very people it intends to represent.
Instead, organisations can and should involve its audiences from the very start. You can do this by establishing a strategy for audience development, including finding your audience, cultivating relationships with and honouring your responsibilities to them, and understanding how to use the tools to reach them. These will lead to more equitable representation in the content that your organisation produces.
This website focuses on ethno-cultural, migrant, refugee and minority ethnic racial equity in the arts and creative sector. Working with First Nations communities and cultural material requires very specific frameworks, protocols and standards that this website does not attempt to address. Find out more.