People in PR, and people like me who do media training, talk about key messages all the time.
‘What are your key messages?’
‘Make sure you deliver your key messages.’
‘Can we just work on your key messages?’
But, big question, what on earth is a key message?
And do they really matter?
Well, let me ask you to do a little exercise.
Watch or listen to any live interview in any news bulletin.
At the end, what was the most memorable thing the interviewee said?
Do you think that was the point he or she would like you have taken away from their
pearls of wisdom.
If not, then he or she has missed a huge opportunity. He or she hasn’t delivered their ‘key messages’.
The ‘key messages’ are the most important points the interviewee would like to make about the issue under discussion during the interview.
If someone was interviewing me about Rough House’s media training courses, the key
messages I would want to deliver would be:
- All our trainers are still working at the very highest level of their industry – in national newspapers, on the BBC, Sky and ITV. Which means that when we tell you about how the media operates, we really know what we’re talking about.
- All our courses are bespoke, tailor made for each client so that they meet their precise needs.
- We provide excellent customer service and our services are all of the highest quality.
And my task, going into the interview, would not be to answer the questions posed by
the reporter or presenter, but to ‘deliver’ these messages.
We’d generally advise anyone to have no more than three messages, to keep them simple, and to be ruthless during the interview in making sure that those messages are delivered loud and clear.
Of course – that’s as easy as it seems, which is why it’s important to:
Firstly: work out what they should be before the interview,
Secondly: test them out in realistic situations (for example during a media training session),
Thirdly: prepare very carefully for each and every interview, so you know what the
questions posed might be and you’ve got a gameplan about how to make sure you
are about to deliver your messages effectively.
Don’t forget, if you need help with working out and testing your key messages, Rough House can help.