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Key Messages Examples: Best Practices in Public Relations

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Key messages are concise, carefully crafted statements that convey the most important information, values, or propositions a brand, organization, or individual wants to communicate to its target audience. These messages are central to branding, marketing, and communication strategies and serve to:

  1. Simplify Complex Ideas: Key messages distill complex ideas, concepts, or information into clear and easily digestible statements. They help ensure that the core message is not lost in the noise.

  2. Create Consistency: Key messages provide consistency across all communication channels and materials. They ensure that everyone within an organization or campaign delivers a uniform message.

  3. Highlight Unique Selling Proposition (USP): They emphasize what sets a product, service, or individual apart from the competition. This can include unique features, benefits, or values.

  4. Engage Emotions: Effective key messages often tap into emotions, making a connection with the audience. This emotional connection can be a powerful motivator for action.

  5. Build and Reinforce Brand Identity: Key messages are an integral part of branding. They shape how a brand is perceived and remembered.

  6. Guide Communication: Whether in marketing, public relations, or advertising, key messages help guide the development of content and communication strategies.

Key messages can vary based on the context and goals of the communication. For example, in a marketing campaign for a smartphone, key messages might emphasize features like a high-quality camera, long battery life, and sleek design. In a public relations campaign, the key messages might focus on the company's commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Effective key messages are typically brief, memorable, and tailored to the needs and preferences of the target audience. They are often used in advertising slogans, taglines, mission statements, and elevator pitches to capture attention and convey the essence of a brand, product, or cause.

In Public Relations, key messages are the primary messages that you want to get through to the intended 'public' or stakeholder group, to achieve a desired set of objectives. For example, if you are a city councilor and want people to litter less, you would create a strong key message based on factual evidence to communicate to the 'publics' or audience that they should stop it because the plastics are ending up in oceans and killing sea life. So based on emotional impact, you would send out a press release to the press to educate them by sharing educational impact information such as: 'Litter Less, bring a plastic bag and carry the litter home with you' key message, with an impactful picture of a whale littered with plastics all over it.

What would be your key messages to this image?
What would be your key messages to this image?

Photo credit: Buzzalert on Facebook

So essentially, key messages are the primary/core messages you want to get through to your public to reach your objectives.

Psychology research has shown that humans remember things best in threes, for example, a telephone number of 8 digits, you would likely break it up into 3 to remember it, for example, if you had 10 digits to remember 6478023382, you would likely break it up into three something like this 647-802-3382. It's easier for the mind to absorb whether you look at it, or if it is spoken to you, or to even store it in your memory. Hence why three is the lucky number. Even Thomas Jefferson and Steve Jobs believed in the Rule of Three. Just as a general rule of thumb, however, based on the objectives, you may want to set it anywhere between 1-10 to get your intended messages through.

So when you have an event or gathering for whatever reason, be it a corporate or product launch, festivity, political, governmental or charitable - there may be a lot of things to say throughout the event, but you want people to remember a number of core messages.

For example, if your client was a fine dining restaurant that was about to launch, and you invited journalists so they can write about what it is about. And there are so many things about the restaurant that you need to promote and you want to talk about, and you may just keep rambling on about the decoration, or about the food, or how much effort it was putting it together, but you want them to carry the right information to the audience/publics / i.e.: your customers. An example below:

  1. Palacio is a fine-dining Spanish restaurant in Toronto serving the widest selection of the finest pinchos akin to that found in San Sebastian, serving wines from award-winning Spanish wineries. Book with us today at or call us at 647-xx-xxxx.

  2. The Spanish-themed restaurant located in Downtown Toronto also has an events space that can accommodate up to 100 pax and comes with the basic conference set-up of a projector, speakers, mic, and small stage. Please get in touch with our office manager Rick at 647-xxx-xxxx.

  3. Disco Espaniol @ Palacio every Fridays & Saturdays 5pm- 2am, FREE drinks for ladies till 10pm. Table bookings call xxx-xxx-xxxx.

What would be your key messages for these pinchos?
What would be your key messages for these pinchos?

Key messages for a Spanish restaurant should capture the essence of the restaurant's brand, the uniqueness of its cuisine, and the experience it offers to customers. Here are some more key message examples for a Spanish restaurant:

4. "Savor the Flavors of España"

  • This key message conveys the idea that the restaurant offers an authentic Spanish culinary experience, encouraging patrons to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Spain.

5. "A Taste of Spain, Right Here in [Location]"

  • This message highlights the restaurant's location and presents it as a convenient destination for those seeking Spanish cuisine without traveling to Spain.

6. "Where Tapas Tell a Delicious Story"

  • This message emphasizes the storytelling aspect of the restaurant's menu, with each tapa offering a unique narrative of Spanish cuisine.

7. "Our Kitchen, Your Spanish Adventure"

  • This key message invites diners to embark on a culinary adventure through Spain's regions, guided by the restaurant's kitchen.

8. "Elevating Traditional Spanish Dishes"

  • Emphasize the restaurant's commitment to elevating traditional Spanish dishes, offering a fresh take on beloved classics.

9. "Experience the Passion of Spanish Cooking"

  • This message highlights Spanish cuisine's passionate and vibrant nature, promising an exciting dining experience.

10. "From Paella to Pintxos, We've Got Spain on a Plate"

  • Mentioning specific Spanish dishes like paella and pintxos showcases the restaurant's diverse menu and culinary expertise.

11. "The Rhythms of Flamenco and the Flavors of Spain"

  • Combine the sensory experience of Spanish music (Flamenco) with the diverse flavors of Spanish cuisine to create a holistic image.

12. "Your Passport to Spain, No Travel Required"

  • Position the restaurant as a gateway to Spain, allowing customers to experience Spanish culture through its food.

13. "Tradition Meets Innovation on Every Plate"

  • Highlight how the restaurant balances traditional Spanish cooking methods and ingredients with innovative twists in its dishes.

14. "Sip, Savor, and Celebrate Spain"

  • Encourage patrons to not only savor the food but also enjoy the Spanish wines and spirits that complement the cuisine.

15. "Authentic Spanish Tapas, Made with Love"

  • Convey the care and authenticity that goes into creating the restaurant's tapas.

16. "Where Every Meal is a Fiesta"

  • Position the dining experience as a festive celebration of Spanish culture, encouraging customers to enjoy themselves.

These key messages should align with the unique selling points of the restaurant and its target audience. They can be used in various marketing materials, including the restaurant's website, social media posts, menus, and advertising campaigns to communicate the essence of the establishment and attract diners.

Key messages for a restaurant
Key messages for a restaurant

Photo by Helena Lopes on

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