For those of us in the PR business, when we talk about messaging, we know exactly what we’re talking about, but sometimes we forget that the concept isn’t as clear to everyone else. We talk about consistency in it, shaping it for the right audiences and getting it out in a timely manner, but what exactly are we talking about when we say messaging? So, here’s a little PR 101 for you on messaging.
Messaging pretty much incorporates any communication you’re sending out to your audiences, whether we’re talking about internal audiences, external audiences and any mode of communication, whether it be a newsletter, morning show interview, elevator speech, etc. We want to make sure that our communication about our clients — what they do, their missions, their goals, etc. — is accurate, consistent and concise, from the wording and phrasing we use down to the color palette we use for clients various print materials. If there’s a variance in those factors, you can possibly confuse your audiences, sound unsure in your position and potentially lose audience members due to lack of consistent communication. People like consistency, people remember consistency and people trust consistency.
The best thing you can do to ensure the quality of your messaging when reaching out to anyone is to take an extra minute to step back and look at your email, newsletter, poster, etc., from an outsider’s perspective. Does it make sense? Is it too lengthy or too short? Is it missing any information? If you didn’t already know this information, would you receive a similar level of understanding from the communication you created? Will it capture your audience’s interest, or is it boring?
With just a little extra work, you can make sure that your intended audience is receiving the best messaging possible to communicate your point. Good communication is the foundation for any good relationship, especially business ones.