Developing key messages is about creating the core messages that underpin what you do and WHY you do it. Sharp, snazzy one liners you can roll out at any given media opportunity.
Once you have developed them, use in all your communications – website, media releases, interviews, functions, events, everywhere!
Remember how you learnt the times table at school – it was all about repetition. Hearing the same thing over and over until it was cemented in your head.
The same goes with public relations – the more your target audience hears your message, the more likely they’ll turn to you when they need your product or service.
The nice thing about public relations and getting publicity for free is the messages you send via the media are not as overt or salesy as traditional marketing and advertising messages.
Public relations is a softer approach but the lesson is the same – repetition of your message = greater awareness of your business.
I am not talking about taglines; key messages are a different kettle of fish. Key messages are bite-sized claims about your organisation based on facts and examples.
Developing key messages will help you in your journey in getting publicity for free.
Here’s some tips to help you create your key message:
One of a kind, baby – that means original; specific and unique to your business. The idea is to stand out from your competitors. There may be 50 people doing the same thing as you but there is something about the way you do it that is different.
Don’t waffle – it needs to be short and sweet. We are talking elevator pitch – your message needs to be delivered 30 seconds of less. You want people to remember your message so avoid ‘War and Peace’.
KISS – only have a few. You may have three to four for each target audience. Remember – you are trying to rise about the competition; too many messages muddies the water.
Benefits appeal – people want to know how you are going to help them. All about problem solving. How do you want people to see your business? With this in mind, try not to be salesy.
Avoid jargon and weasel words – this is how Ford weasel worded its way around FIRING 1,200 people. “Ford is transforming its Australian business by accelerating the introduction of new products for Australian customers, enhancing the sales and service experience, and improving its business efficiency and profitability.” What? If you want people to remember you and do business with you, keep the message/s simple and easy to understand (combined with authenticity and honesty).
Spring clean – You may already have your key messages, but when did you write them? Review them regularly. Your product offering may have changed or you want to target a different audience.
Get your message right, have it rolling off your tongue and you will be in control of the information you share with the media and those you want to hear it – your client avatar.