1. Consistent -- Like memorable commercials, good messages require consistency and repetition. Spokespersons who change their messages from interview to interview prevent their audiences from understanding, remembering, and acting upon their messages.  Consistency is broader than just media interviews— you should apply it across all of your communications platforms. Your website, public speeches, newsletters, annual reports, and all other internal and external communications should reflect the same themes as your media messages. 
     
  2. Unburdened -- Demands that your messages remain unburdened by three things: wordiness, jargon, and abstractions. The more a message tries to say— and the more abstractly it tries to say it— the less likely it is to be memorable. As a general guide, aim for messages that: Have no more than two commas Contain no more than 30 words Evoke concrete images. The goal of most communications is to move an audience from lack of awareness to awareness to action. The more unburdened your messages, the more likely you are to achieve that goal. 

  3. Brief – The average quote airing on evening newscasts lasts just 7.3 seconds. Therefore aim for no more than 30 words in each key message.
     
  4. Ear-Worthy

    Use short words and short sentences;
    Use everyday words.
    Use contractions i.e. don’t
     
  5. Audience Focused.  Effective media messages must incorporate your audience’s needs and values; those that do will resonate much more deeply. 

Although your messages for each individual audience may differ from the ones you create for your general audience, they should all reflect similar values and themes.  

You will probably not use your messages verbatim in media interviews very often; rather, you will communicate the themes of your messages in your own words. But since messaging forms the foundation of everything you communicate— in the media, during public presentations, on your website, in brochures, and even during casual conversations— it is important to invest time in developing powerful messages up front. 

VIDEO: Not being prepared, not staying on message - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nokTjEdaUGg

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