Key messages

The Key Messages assignment will help you construct key messages and practice pitching them to media.  Read the detailed description in the attached document to understand the process of developing key messages.

Deliverable:  Completed form (chart) on last page of assignment, pitch video & 3 reflection questions

 

Developing Key Messages for Media Interviews

Good communicators don’t just wing it. They take the time to prepare and develop key messages. The discipline is deceptively simple, but once mastered, key messages will make every communication process more effective, whether during speeches, presentations or media interviews.

 

What are key messages? You want everyone to understand the same basic message. The words and phrases you use in media releases, media interviews, marketing materials, web sites and sales pitches should all be based on your organization’s key messages. Each individual may remember different details, but they should all be able to sum up your message consistently in one or two sentences. If they are properly developed and delivered, those sentences will be your key messages. To be useful, key messages must:

  • Be few in number, usually no more than two or three
  • Be short and concise, generally no more than a sentence or two.
  • Be written down.

Key messages aren’t advertising taglines. They are bite-sized summations of more complex brand, company and product messages. Too many messages and you won’t have focus. If your messages are a paragraph each, you will not be effective. Writing your messages down makes sure they are short, concise, and understandable.

 

When interviewing, you “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you just told them”. That, in a nutshell, is the proper use of key messages. You should start any communication with your key messages, return to them throughout, and then summarize with them at the end. The anatomy of a key message can be expressed in this simple formula:    Claim = fact + example

  • Claim – A claim is what you want stakeholders to believe. For example: “Our company is the most innovative plastics manufacturer in America.”
  • Fact – A fact is indisputable proof that what you claim is true. For example: “Our company has won the Most Innovative Plastics Manufacturer Award from the American Center for Innovation for the past two years.”

 

Key messages and the media – Henry Kissinger used to start off his media interviews by asking, “Does anybody have any questions for my answers?” The implication was clear: Kissinger had his key messages and he was going to deliver them. Developing key messages becomes especially valuable in settings where other issues are likely to come up, such as employee meetings or media interviews. If you have formalized your key messages, you have something to return to so you can keep the discussion on track.

 

Key messages also provide a structure for the rest of the information you want to include in your presentation or media interview. All the information you want to include should support your key messages. Organize your communication in that fashion, and you will find your presentation easier to build and clearer for your audience. To be truly effective, you must practice. There is just something about saying things out loud that brings a clarity that is not always possible just by looking at the written word. If you find that your key messages do not flow off the tongue easily, redraft them. Test the messages with someone you trust to see if they make sense and are credible.

 

Developing key messages needs to be a habit. Many people in the public relations industry find the concept of key messages to be so basic that they don’t think they need to devote time to them. But truly effective communication means developing key messages must be a regular part of preparing for public presentations and media interviews. The process doesn’t need to take a long time, but the effort of developing key messages, writing them down, and then organizing your communication around them will pay huge public relations dividends in the end.

 

Companies that develop engaging, useful and important key messages that can be used in media interviews are quoted in the media more, misquoted less, and develop better relationships with journalists.

 

Source: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/public-relations-basics-developing-key-messages-for-media-interviews/

 

 

 

Writing Key Messages

One of the most important parts of media relations is to develop your key statements. Just like Sweet Brown, you have three main points—also known as your key messages—for your audience to take away. With Sweet Brown, we know that there was a fire, she’s got bronchitis, and nobody’s got time for that. How you say it can vary, but the idea is that you have three key thoughts and you repeat them in as many ways as possible. However, before you have those key statements, you have to figure out what you message will be. A template like the one below is often used. Typically, you figure out what the real issue is, you figure out the statements & variations of it, and for each statement you have a few facts to back it up. Here is an example used by a company they dealt with a crisis. The company names and locations have been changed. Check it out:

 

Message Map Template: Nevada Workforce Safety & Insurance

Stakeholder:  Employees in Nevada

Question or Concern: Vendor system compromised: Security breach, server with personal information attacked, no injured worker claim information stolen

Key Message 1

Key Message 2

Key Message 3

X Services, Inc. has been informed by Nevada Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) was a victim of a cyber-attack.

 

A Nevada Information Technology Department server that contained WSI data was accessed by hackers.

 

WSI is a vendor of X Services, Inc. According to a WSI letter dated June 25, 2015, WSI reported there was no evidence the attackers stole data.

 

WSI has reported the incident to law enforcement.

The server contained reports which may include the following information on individuals: name, social security number, birth date, description of injury, description of incident, name of employer, and employer address. These reports do not include any medical information.

 

Based on a letter from WSI, dated June 25, 2015, no injured worker claim information was stolen.

 

Personal information such as names and Social Security numbers were not compromised.

 

We take protecting the privacy of our associates very serious. WSI sent letters directly to affected individuals for whom an address was available.

 

As an extra precaution, X Services, Inc. is notifying all employees in Nevada from 2006 to 2013 regarding the incident, directing them to the Workforce Safety website and recommending they monitor their credit report.

 

­We are asking X Services employees to reset passwords.

Supporting Information 1-1

Supporting Information 2-1

Supporting Information 3-1

The cyber-attack occurred May 29. Media reports surfaced June 12.

 

X Services, Inc. received a letter from WSI on June 25.

Email from CEO to franchisees in ND about the situation. Also send them the letter that will be sent to associates informing them of the system compromise; urging them to reset passwords.

 

Letter to associates.

 

ABC ID Company will provide credit repair services, free of charge, to all affective individuals.

Supporting Information 1-2

Supporting Information 2-2

Supporting Information 3-2

WSI letter directing employees to WorkforceSafety.com/security for information on the security breach

 

ABC ID Company will provide credit repair services, free of charge, to all affective individuals.  
Supporting Information 1-3 Supporting Information 2-3 Supporting Information 3-3
ABC ID Company will provide credit repair services, free of charge, to all affective individuals. .  

 

 

Assignment

 

Part 1: Using the form below, create Key Messages.

  • Option 1: Watch Blackfish and come up with some key statements for or against Seaworld in response to the movie. Imagine you are them–what would you say to defend your side? Have supporting facts for your arguments. (If there is another documentary you are interested in, that’s fine too. Just let me know when you turn in the assignment.)
  • Option 2: Explain to me why you are the best. Seriously, come up with a three-point argument to explain to me why you are the best, the coolest and so darn smart. Have supporting facts for each of your key messages.

 

Part 2: After you have perfected your written message, pitch and record your key messages on camera (a cell-phone recording is fine). This has two purposes: (1) I’d like to know who y’all are and (2) I want you to practice getting comfortable in front of the camera. It’s much hard than it looks. You should see how many outtakes I have to do before I upload a lecture. When you upload, your key message pitch should be at least a minute long. You have to get all three key messages presented with one supporting fact for each. When you submit your written key messages and the video, also include:

  1. How many takes you attempted before you got a good one.
  2. What you struggled with or what stood out to you after your watched yourself.
  3. Was it more or less difficult than you initially thought to record? and why?

 

Message Map Template:  (Give a title of the situation)

 

Stakeholder:  (Tell me about the group of people whom it affects)

 

Question or Concern:  (Describe what the issue is)

 

Key Message 1

Key Message 2

Key Message 3

 

(First main idea that you want to get across)

 

 

(Second main idea that you want to get across)

 

 

 

(Third main idea that you want to get across)

 

 

Supporting Information 1-1

Supporting Information 2-1

Supporting Information 3-1

 

(Supporting information for your statement)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Information 1-2

Supporting Information 2-2

Supporting Information 3-2

(Supporting information for your statement)

 

 

 

 

 
Supporting Information 1-3 Supporting Information 2-3 Supporting Information 3-3
(Supporting information for your statement)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
ORDER THIS PAPER OR A SIMILAR ONE WITH PRO WRITING TUTORS AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT"