Margaret McGann

Building the strategic communications plan – key messages

In communications and marketing, communications plan, planning, public relations, strategy on May 3, 2010 at 7:08 am

Any time an organization, government or corporation speaks to its audiences about what it is doing or does it is through key messages. These are another crucial part of any communications plan.

Key messages speak to the issues and sum up your objectives and desired results.

Your analysis of your public opinion research, environment and media scans and a clear focus on your objectives and results identifies what messages you need to deliver to who.

Think in threes — the three Cs ,the three Rs and the number three — when developing your key messages to make sure you’re writing the right message for the right audience at the right time.  

Your messages need to be:

Clear — use plain language

Concise — write short tight sentences

Consistent — easy to use in all your communications products

Your messages need to have:

Relevance — address the issues, objectives and results

Resonance — credible and resonate with your audience

Responsiveness — persuasive and able to prompt action

Three is usually the right number of messages for a target audience to absorb and remember so make them short and memorable.

There are two other things you’ll want to take into consideration to make sure your messaging is effective — your messenger and your audience.  Your messages will only really rock if your messenger is believable and your messages reach the right audiences.

To recap:

Effective key messages are:

  • Clear, concise and consistent
  • Relevant, resonant and responsive
  • Easily remembered and absorbed
  • Three is the best number
  • Delivered to the right audience by a credible messenger

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