Often when we engage clients in messaging workshops they are not convinced of why they should be spending their time doing it. So here is a quick guide to why your PR messages are important and why you have to get them right.
Messaging is the term used to describe exactly what company information is going to be shared with all of your stakeholders and how it should be presented.
This aspect of a PR campaign is crucial, as it is the only stage of the PR process where the company maintains complete control over its information. If you don’t get it right at this stage your whole campaign runs the risk of taking off in the wrong direction. This is such a common mistake we ensure that we get our client’s key messages formulated as early as possible in a campaign and the engagement process.
Once in the public domain, your information will be open to all sorts of scrutiny, interpretation, and analysis. However, during this internal planning stage, it is possible to agree on which aspects of the company to publicise, and how exactly to do it. It is also the chance to make sure the public front you want to show the world is agreed upon by all your senior management. It is surprising how often a messaging workshop shows that this is not the case. It is far better to hammer out your minor disagreements in a closed workshop rather than under the glare of TV lights or gleeful story in your local press highlighting the ‘confusion’ with your organisation.
Messaging sessions can sometimes bring in to the open fundamental disagreements about corporate strategy that have to be addressed before you expose them to the glare of the TV lights!
The messaging workshop starts with The Elevator test – imagine you meet your best-ever prospect in the lift and you have ten floors (about one minute) to tell her enough about your company to get her to meet you. It’s harder than you think but an essential and powerful tool to use not only when meeting people but when used on the home page of your web site or on your marketing material.
Once the elevator test (or lift test if you prefer) is captured we move on and capture all of your other key messages. These will be used in briefings with journalists and analysts and almost any other public engagement between your organisation and the outside world.
The end result of this workshop is a messaging grid which provides you with a handy and essential document which will guide you through meetings with the media and be the basis of most of your collateral, in all the vertical sectors you work in and save you endless hours of research prior to your media engagements.
The PR goal in this regard is simple: once you have agreed on your company’s key messages, you will want to promote them to the biggest audience possible using the tools and methodology which makes Eskenzi such a successful agency for its clients.