Making Information User-Driven
Tailoring information to suit your audience increases the likelihood that your information will be accessed and taken up. To provide user-driven information it is important to understand who your target audience is, what information they want/need, how they access information and whether you are trying to inform or influence your audience. Questionnaires can be employed to determine your audience's information needs and the media they use. With this knowledge you can provide the information your target audience wants, in media they can use, and place your information where your audience will look for it. If you are clear about who has produced the information, who it is intended for and its purpose, the user can make informed decisions about the value of your information. Involving end users in research is also more likely to produce outputs that are quickly disseminated and taken up. Awareness of the strategic role of information within your organisation can be enhanced by encouraging all organisation members to become involved in identifying information needs, dissemination and community building. Practices such as using a database of people who have requested information to regularly inform them about newly available materials, and ensuring that your organisation has a focal point responsible for responding to information demands will help you to reach your target audience.
CIMRC, Wallingford, UK, 4 pp.