KEY MESSAGES – WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
The first and most important component of any PR campaign strategy is to establish your core message(s) at the outset. Clearly defined core or key messages provide the opportunity to craft your image and brand, and communicate them to your target market. Without a firm understanding of what your company’s brand equities are and what your message is, the public will not have a firm grasp of what sets you apart from the competition.
Key Messages: What?
- Key messages are bite-sized summations of more complex brand, company and product messages.
- They allow you to control communications and enhance relationships with your target audiences.
- They are designed to work out what you really need to get across on the topic to the audiences.
Key Messages: Why?
- They give you control of the conversation or interview.
- They are true, concise and interesting.
- They allow you to share, inform or educate your audience
- They keep you on track.
- They let you respond thoughtfully and knowledgeably.
- They tell your story.
- They provide consistency to your overall marketing message and line up with your brand.
How to develop your key message(s)
Effective key messages help to crystallize thoughts and opinions about your organization. They are the words and phrases you use consistently in media releases, media interviews, marketing materials, websites and sales pitches. Here are some important tips to get you started.
Know your audience. As with everything else in communications, your audience defines how you will tailor your message and method of communicating your message. Don’t communicate the importance of owning a credit card to an audience of teenagers.
What are your company’s objectives? You key message should reflect your company’s business goals and objectives. Your message should communicate a call to action that will in turn help your company reach your goals and objectives. Your message should never go against the goals of your company. If your company is selling soda, your key message should probably avoid talking about the amount of sugar in your product.
Follow the 4Cs. And we’re not talking condos, cash, credit cards and cars! Your message should be clear, concise, correct and complete. It is important to have only a few key messages – 3 to 4 are ideal. Your message should be clear and concise making it easy to understand. Your message should get straight to the point and be comprehensible – stay away from using jargon and complicated, long-winded sentences. Make certain that the facts or figures in your messages are correct and include all the relevant and supporting information.
The elevator speech. Think of your message as an elevator speech. If you were riding an elevator with a potential client or customer, could you recite your key message in under a minute and without creating any questions before your client steps off the elevator? If not, you may need to rethink your key message.
The practice of developing key messages can be very helpful as you prepare to discuss a crisis situation with the media. It can also be really helpful when working with a new client, to make sure you and the client are on the same page. Key messages can serve as a guide when putting together public relations and marketing copy and can help to ensure that your copy is getting the right points across.
Posted by Irene Gomez, CIO, Corporate Media
This entry was posted on 26 August 2013 by Corporate Media Services. It was filed under Marketing, Public Relations and was tagged with audience, client, company, corporate, key, media, messages, point, PR, public, relations, services, story.