The Situation Analysis should include the following sections.

  1. Issue Analysis (including intended behavioral or attitudinal outcome)
  2. Audience Analysis
  • Describe your target audience psychographically, in terms of their media use and influencers, and include any information available about their attitudes toward your issue
  • What are challenges and opportunities of communicating about your issue to this audience?
  1. Competitive Analysis
  • Who else is trying to get the attention of your target audience for similar reasons?
  • Think of direct and indirect competitors. Don’t simply list them, but describe them briefly and state why they are competition for your message.
  1. Contextual/Climate analysis
  • What social, economic, political, etc. factors impact your issue and your ability to communicate persuasively to your audience about your issue.
  1. SWOT analysis – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (of your message/campaign)
  • Strengths and Weakness – internal
  • Opportunity and Threats – external
  1. SMART Objectives – at least three SMART objective for your communication strategy/campaign


  • At least one page (single space) per section. (e.g. minimum 6 pages)
  • Grad students: at least 5 peer reviewed sources for your Issue and/or contextual analysis

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