The right key messages are essential in creating a comprehensive public relations plan. According to Clark Communication, Key messages are the core of your communication activities. Key messages open the door to meaningful communications with your audience, because they bridge what your audience already knows and where you are trying to take them. You have a story to tell—whether to educate, discuss, promote or advocate. Key messages must be crafted very carefully in order to achieve a successful plan because key messages are what will be reiterated to your audience, over and over again. While creating key messages, follow these steps:
Establish your goals
The first set of questions that you should ask yourself are, what are my goals? What do I want my audience to know? What does success look like? Understanding what you ultimately want to accomplish will help you create key messages that achieve your communication goals.
Fewer key messages
Condense your plan to three to five, strong key messages. Since the key messages will be reiterated often, you want to make them memorable, and you want your audience to be able to follow and recognize your key messages.
Make your key messages succinct
The shorter your key messages are, the easier it is for you to say them and the easier it is for your audience to remember them. A good rule of thumb is to have key messages the length of a tweet; keep it at 140 characters. Don’t be afraid to use statistics, but only if they are relevant, fresh and enhance your key messages.
Make it relevant to your audience
Delete jargon from key messages and choose your words carefully. Key messages should be understood without a lot of explaining. Do not inflate key messages with wording that is not necessary. Also, Make sure that your key messages are not filled with conceptual language; your audience will want concrete messaging.
Test your key message
Write your key messages and see how easy it is to memorize them. Then, tell a friend the key messages and get feedback from them, check with them a few hours later and see if they still remember them, if not, adjust accordingly until they are memorable.
Finally, be consistent with the messaging. Stick to those key messages through out your campaign by including them in all of your communication efforts.