3.1 Not just the 'general public'!

Cartoon icon showing a group of people in outline, with no facial features or distinguishing characteristics to differentiate them.When considering who you would like to engage with your research, it can be tempting to refer simply to the ‘general public’. The term isn’t always helpful in this context, since it implies that people are a single homogenous group rather than individuals with different interests, identities, and concerns; when planning your public engagement, it can be more useful to think about ‘publics’ as a plural form, since this allows us to think of the different ways in which people identify themselves – perhaps as members of particular communities, or as sharing particular characteristics or interests. The clearer you can be about who the publics are that you would like to work with, the easier it will be to devise appropriate public engagement activities and to target them in ways that will enable you to reach those groups of people.