Messaging is a critical for any effective public relations strategy and plan.
Yet, sometimes our messages can lack clarity, and compromise our resonance with and relevance to our valued customers and influencers, and ultimately stunt business growth.
How do we get our message on target?
We embrace the messaging system of marketing expert Barry Callen called his PitchPerfect™ Message Strategy. Barry defines message strategy as the point of one communication to one target market. He advises that if you change the target or you change the point, you need a new message strategy
I like the practical, actionable simplicity of this system. Here’s are the seven key questions of Pitch Perfect:
1. Whom are we talking to (defined emotionally in terms of fear & desire)? This is the single most important question You can spend as much as half your time on message strategy in answering this question. Go beyond the simple demographics (e.g. men 35 to 45, women 20-40) and define your target in a story full of hopes and fears. This will help identify your target’s greatest emotional needs and dilemmas and attract their attention by solving their problem.
2. What is our point (emotional conclusion we want target to draw)? Think of this as if a genie gathered your target together and magically made them believe one sentence, what would it be? The genie also will give the same wish to your competition. What point would you make?
3. What is the key word in the point (unusual, concrete, specific & powerful)? The brain simplifies information and turns bulls into bullion cubes. You can either let your customers or competitors do this, or you take control by choosing a powerful word. Choose the key word that makes target feel something and triggers a concrete image and highlights the chief brand difference and that is believable and own able and even makes people laugh at the truth of it.
4. Why should the target care about the point? You must find something your target already cares about and build on it. Find the underlying emotional commonality or desire that all target customers share.
5. Why should the target believe the point? You are allowed to list up to four reasons to believe. Rank the most important reason first. You need not have more than one. Great question is what do people need to believe in order to justify their view of reality or their perception of themselves?
6. How should the target feel about the message, brand or product? Look for guidance especially around adjectives about a personality. Use test words, pictures, wardrobe, music, style choices, etc. to help define feeling.
7. What do we want the target to do? Why are you sending the message to the target? Do we want them to trade up, upgrade or expand purchase, be aware of name, become brand advocate or ambassador, believe worth checking out, change attitude or belief about you, etc. Pick the most important call to action and emphasize it.
Good luck using this smart messaging system to empower your public relations.
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