How to write effective key messages

    Key messaging creates the fundamental building block of any effective communications plan.

    If you don’t know what it is that sets your business apart from competitors, neither will the media and neither will your customers.

    Key messages aren’t just talking points for your spokespeople when talking to the media. They’re the things that define what you sell or do, why you do what you do, and your story.

    Key messages are often the foundation of your unchanging boilerplate: the messages with which the media will become familiar as you pitch. But they’re also helpful in easily explaining what you and your organisation are all about, to anyone who will listen – potential clients, potential donors, to friends and family, the list goes on.


    How to write effective key messaging

    Key messaging is what you want your audience to know about your business. It’s how you want your story to be told. The point of writing down your key messaging is to get it out of your head and into a document so that it’s consistent across all of your communication: your public relations, your website, your brochures, your emails, your social media. It’s also consistent regardless of who’s saying it.

    Use existing assets

    You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to write effective key messages. Your business’ mission and values are the core of your key messaging so start there and work outwards. Sometimes, you have to better define what your mission and values are before you can work on your key messaging for external comms and marketing campaigns. This is a good thing. This groundwork will make everything else that you market much easier.

    Keep key messaging simple

    Good key messaging is simple and easy to remember. Everybody remembers Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign because it was a simple idea communicated with a punch. It didn’t directly encourage customers to buy Apple computers but it did mean that every time someone thought of creativity they thought of Apple. Adoni Media’s Communications Director Clare Christensen says, “Key messaging is about creating engaging, simple tag lines that anyone who is reading, listening, or watching your campaign can understand.” “They need to know at a glance what you stand for and what you do.”

    Keep key messaging consistent

    Every business has, at its heart, a core product or service. Your key messaging should be as consistent as this core revenue driver. Changing your key messages frequently is the perfect way to become forgettable because your audience won’t associate your key messaging with your brand. You want to be memorable and you want to cut through. If you sell a range of products and services, your key messaging for each business unit might be different but you should have at least a core set of guiding principles that inform your communications strategy and create cohesion between all of your advertising, PR and marketing.

    Write broad key messaging

    Anyone who comes across your key messaging, whether they’re a target customer or not, should know what your business is and what it does, through your key messaging. This doesn’t mean your key messaging has to appeal to everybody — not everyone’s in the market for soil stabilising chemicals for infrastructure, for example — but they should be easy to understand.

    Remember key messaging will be said aloud

    Because key messaging is driving your communications strategy, all of your key messages should be easy to remember. This is simple if they’re kept concise. You need your executives to be able to refer to them under the hot sun of a stressful day in front of national news crews so don’t make them long, verbose, or complicated.

    Write your key message like it’s influential, not just communication

    It’s a subtle difference but it’s vital to understand. Key messaging that leaps off the page or the screen to make readers and watchers instantly believe it will make the rest of your communications far easier. This is easier said than done. But here at Adoni Media we’re key messaging experts.

    Need help writing effective key messaging?

    Contact our team today for effective key messaging support that cuts through the media. Get your stories read, featured, and publicised with Adoni Media’s expert team of journalists-turned-communications professionals.