A successful media interview, client presentation, or any communication with a target audience begins and ends with crafting impactful, positive key messages. These are the core elements of your business that you want people to remember. For our media training sessions we always place the greatest emphasis on the development of key messages.
Identifying key messages is critical because they serve as the bedrock of your company’s branding and marketing efforts; what you do, what sets you apart from competitors, and the value you provide.
Through our experiences we have established guidelines to help simplify the process:
- Work as a team. Developing key messages should not be done in a vacuum. Meet with your leadership team to identify your communications goals because your key messages will support those goals.
- Make it simple. The biggest mistake is making your messages too long or too complicated. Keep it concise, make it simple, and avoid industry jargon. For each issue or topic prepare three or four key messages.
- Make it memorable. Use language that is compelling but easy to understand and recall.
- Make it relevant. Be sure the messages speak to the innovations and services that distinguish your company.
- Beyond the big picture. Along with messages for your entire organization, prepare a few for each department or field of expertise. For example, at a large law firm there will be overarching messages central to the firm but each practice area should have a few key messages specific to that expertise.
- Understand your audiences. What do they need to hear from you? If you have many target audiences you can tailor messages for each group.
- Share with colleagues. Every employee needs to understand your communications goals. They should be familiar with the organization’s key messages even if they never speak to clients or the media.
- Be consistent. The messages you havedeveloped should be the same for the media as they are to your clients or other stakeholders.
An experienced public relations firm can help your organization develop and deliver key messaging to support your organization’s brand. For more information on the importance of message development and Marx Layne Media Training, visit here.