Key messages are the main points you want your audience to remember from any communication you share as a company and are an important feature of a public relations campaign. It’s important to establish what those key messages are before doing any interviews or crafting any written materials for media to ensure you’re getting the most out of your communication efforts.
Key messages should capture your company’s purpose, vision or goal as well as illustrate what makes your company different from competitors. Basically, after someone hears your key messages they should have a very clear understanding of who you are, what you do and why they should care (or what you would like them to do).
Here are tips to keep in mind when developing key messages.
Stick to Three
There’s only so much information people can absorb at one time. As a result, it’s best to concentrate on three key messages. Any more and it can get confusing for people, they simply won’t remember or it just won’t be impactful. To develop these three messages, boil down the “what” and “how” (what’s the service or product you offer, and how do you use it) and then shift to the “why.” Why are you doing what you’re doing and why should people care? That will help convey what your company's beliefs are and help to drive interest and action.
Keep it Simple
Key messages should be short and specific — this is not the place for details! Wording should be as simple and digestible as possible to ensure that your audience walks away having absorbed your messages. They should be easy to recall and repeat, for both your spokesperson and the audience you’re looking to reach as well as conversational. A good way to assess the simplicity of your messages is to read them and think “would my target audience understand these messages quickly and easily?” If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Make it Believable
Your key messages should be honest and truly reflect your company as it is now — not what you want your company to be. Audiences are smart and can detect when messaging isn’t authentic, so it’s important to craft your messages accordingly.
Review and Revise Them Often
Key messages will naturally change over time as your company grows. As a result, it’s important to revisit key messages regularly, updating them to ensure they stay relevant to your company goal and with your audience (as audiences may also age and will certainly evolve). A good rule of thumb is to revise them quarterly or with each major campaign or announcement.
Hire a PR Agency to Help
Developing key messages is nothing short of an art form as they should be simple yet highly persuasive. Key messages take lots of time to develop and refine, and are essentially the foundation for all company communication. As a result, it’s always best to engage a PR agency for support.
Ready to develop your key messages? We can help! Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org