The Key Message is King

The Key Message is King

In public relations first impressions are everything. You only get one kick at the proverbial can to make a lasting and positive impression with your target audience. So whether you’re talking to media, influencers or consumers it’s imperative to establish what you want to say before communicating with them. This is where the key message comes in.


Key messages are the top two-to-three points you want to be top of mind with your audience. They serve as teasers to pique their interest while confirming a positive message you want them to remember and pass on to their key audiences.


Key messages are the critical success factor to any successful PR campaign as they unify all elements of it. How so? They serve as a guide for spokespeople; they’re the underlying theme for any media materials including fact sheets, news releases, digital content, etc. They also provide measurement when tracking the pick-up and success of your campaign.


Below we highlight the top do’s and don’ts of crafting your key messages.


Key Message Do’s & Don’ts


  1. Golden rule – do keep it simple! A key message is a one-liner designed to drive home a key point or benefit. It should pack an informative punch and provoke interest.


  1. Don’t get over-zealous as too many key messages can dilute your communications efforts and leave your audience feeling overwhelmed, confused or turned-off. Stick to one-to-three key messages max.


  1. Don’t get too fancy. Just say no to industry jargon or market-laden claims. Trust me media and influencers have heard them all.


  1. Do be consistent. Ensure your key messages are woven into all communications for frequency of message and to help them to stay top of mind with those you are targeting.


  1. Do be positive and have supporting messages to back your claims. Make sure your key messages are relevant, believable and have evidence to back them.


Important to note key messages are not static PR tools. Just like your brand and strategies evolve so should your communications tools. Keep your key messages fresh and relevant with each campaign.


We’d love to hear what you think of our latest blog or lessons you’ve learned when crafting the perfect key message.