Public Relations

Key Messages: An Essential Guide for Communicators

By Ashpreet Kaur Suri on June 24, 2024

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Messaging is the key to achieving an impact with communication. Whether in personal communication, professional settings, or digital interactions, the key messages we convey shape our relationships, influence our audience and determine our success.

So, what are the key messages? Understanding key messages is an essential element before crafting your pitch. It involves what we say and how we say and convey them to our target audiences. It is an essential skill that needs to be mastered. This blog will explore key messages, why they are necessary for communication, framework and tips, and how to write a perfect key message.

Key messages are the backbone of effective communication; they are the guidelines to be included in all forms of communication, whether written, verbal, nonverbal, or visual.

What happens when you have these guidelines?

  • You convey your messages concisely and correctly, avoiding unnecessary details.
  • It helps you reach your target audience. 
  • It anchors all communication content, making it easier for your customers to remember and repeat the important information. 
  • They help make your conversation more persuasive as you craft important ideas and viewpoints in your argument.
  • It helps align with the communicator’s goals and objectives, whether promoting a product or advocating for a cause.

How to write key messages

Key messages should be prepared beforehand, whether you are launching a product for your company, preparing a PR campaign or marketing strategy, or compiling your media and press releases. If they are not prepared, there is a tendency to overexplain, use buzzwords, or elaborate to such an extent that your audience will get confused and miss the main attributes. 

To overcome this, let us dive into some tips and tricks to write a perfect key message:

  1. Focus on your target audience – Knowing your audience is important before finalizing a plan. You should include their age, gender, geography, psychographics, motivations, and pain points.
  2. Be clear and concise – By using simple words and language, your audience will understand what you are trying to convey and align with you simultaneously.
  3. Use supporting points and evidence – Your focus should be on creating short messages, a maximum of two to three, along with their supporting points, to provide an explanation that provides credibility and helps persuade your audience.
  4. Be memorable – Craft messages that are easy to remember and include quotes and slogans to leave a lasting impression on the audience. 
  5. Be authentic – Your messages should focus on a long-term strategy and align with the scope and values of your organization, product, service, and program. 
  6. Incorporate a call to action – Motivate your audience to act in a particular way in response to your message. This could be anything from visiting a website, buying something, or contributing to a good cause.
  7. Test and refine – Test your plan with a smaller audience, receive their feedback and work accordingly. 
  8. Stay positive – At times, you will feel confused and stressed when things do not work out, but keep a positive approach and convert problems and negative energy into opportunities and solutions. 

Let’s focus on an example of how to create your framework for key messages: 

  • Include an umbrella statement – This gives an overall summary of your key messages.
  • Supporting points – Next comes the supporting statements, which give a detailed explanation of your key messages. 
  • Proof points – They provide evidence and more details supporting your message.

Using this framework, you can create essential messages that are coherent, unambiguous, and in line with your communication goals, which will eventually increase the efficacy of your communication efforts.

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