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How to Create Key Messages

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

In Public Relations, whenever you speak to your public, you need to address them, and fill them with the idea that you want them to acquire. It can be:

  • Companies to Media

  • Companies to Shareholders

  • Politician to Voters

Stakeholders to communicate to
Stakeholders to communicate to

Whatever it is, you need to make sure that you are communicating the right thing and know how to create key messages. The trouble is, when you want to just be friendly, and get into conversations, who knows where the friendly conversation may end up, and what the journalist ends up penning down.

Journalist interviewing lady
Journalist interviewing lady

You see , the journalist is a typical worker. Goes in to work, does what needs to be done. He or she would need to go for the assignment or event, see what is happening, and report to as accurate as possible. And they would be penning down and taking pictures of what is happening.

Journalist writing press release
Journalist writing press release

That is why it is so important to give the right impression, and tell the right story. As they are coming to take pictures and notes.

So delivery of information cannot be casual or as it comes. It would need to be carefully planned, as part of Corporate or Political Communication Strategy - and rolled out accordingly.

Even if the journalists ask questions that derail off to say scandals - it is important to remember that the journalist won't pen down things that aren't uttered, so deflecting away and bringing the topic back to where you want it to go should always be in your control. So whatever it is, they always go back and end up writing what YOU want them to write. So YOU control the show, not them.

Mass communication and advertising
Mass communication and advertising

What are your Key Messages when determining how to create your key messages

So now that we know how important it is to have the information flow from your side strategized and in clear direction, how exactly do you arrange this information? Human studies have shown that we remember things in bundles of 3. Like if we have to remember a telephone number with 10 numbers in it like 0183712737, we would remember it better by breaking it up into 018-3712-737. It is also easier for the eye to catch and capture the information in the brain. It's like pockets of information sorted so that everything doesn't go all over the place. So Key Messages should be engineered the same. When you meet your audience, whether you are a politician giving a speech, or a CEO of a company, you would need to see what are the main 3 key messages you would like to get across for the day. Some of guides for you could be:

  1. Why are you meeting your audience, for a celebration? Or to get more support? Write down the main key reason why you would like to greet everyone who is there

  2. What do you want everyone to remember when they walk away?

  3. What do you want printed in social media and in newspapers or TV?

Strategizing key messages and stringing them in a way that hits the right note is also important. As they say, it's not just what you say, but also how you say it.

Creating effective key messages is crucial for communicating your brand, product, or idea clearly and persuasively. Key messages are concise, memorable, and focus on the most critical points you want to convey. Here's a step-by-step guide to creating key messages:

1. Understand Your Audience:

  • Identify your target audience and understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your key messages to resonate with them.

2. Define Your Goals:

  • Determine the objectives of your communication. Are you trying to promote a product, build brand awareness, or convey a specific idea or value?

3. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

  • What sets your product, service, or idea apart from the competition? Highlight the unique benefits and features that make it valuable.

4. Keep It Concise:

  • Key messages should be short and to the point. Aim for brevity while conveying the most critical information.

5. Focus on Benefits:

  • Emphasize the benefits that your audience will gain from your product or idea. How does it solve their problems or improve their lives?

6. Use Simple Language:

  • Avoid jargon and technical terms that may confuse or alienate your audience. Use plain and straightforward language.

7. Emphasize Emotions:

  • Tap into emotions that resonate with your audience. Emotional appeal can be powerful in making messages memorable and relatable.

8. Test and Refine:

  • Test your key messages with a small sample of your target audience or colleagues to gather feedback. Use this feedback to refine and improve your messages.

9. Prioritize and Sequence:

  • If you have multiple key messages, prioritize them. Determine the order in which they should be presented to build a coherent narrative.

10. Consistency Across Channels:

  • Ensure that your key messages are consistent across all communication channels, including your website, social media, advertising, and in-person interactions.

11. Repetition:

  • Repeating key messages can help reinforce them in the minds of your audience. However, don't overdo it to the point of annoyance.

12. Craft Catchphrases or Taglines:

  • Consider creating catchphrases or taglines that encapsulate your key messages in a memorable and catchy way.

13. Visuals and Storytelling:

  • Enhance your key messages with visuals and storytelling. Images, videos, and stories can make messages more engaging and relatable.

14. Adapt to the Medium:

  • Tailor your key messages to the specific medium you're using. What works in a social media post may not be suitable for a press release or a sales pitch.

15. Feedback Loop:

  • Continuously gather feedback on how your key messages are resonating with your audience. Adapt and refine them as needed to stay relevant.

16. Measure and Adjust:

  • Use analytics and feedback to assess the impact of your key messages. Adjust them as necessary to improve results.

Remember that creating effective key messages often involves a process of refinement and adaptation. Over time, you may need to tweak and adjust your key messages to align with changing circumstances, audience preferences, and your business or communication goals. If you ever need help with Public Relations or Key Messages, do get in touch with us at Wunderboom, or visit our Public Relations page.

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