4 PR messaging tips to improve your communication strategyBy Larry Alton on October 5th, 2016
In today’s world of media-oriented technology, it’s impossible to relate to customers without speaking to them. Companies make a blog, engage on social media, revamp their website, hire customer service phone representatives, utilize email marketing, implement SMS messaging systems, and have someone constantly on chat in order to communicate with their customers. It’s the epitome of public relations! Here are some PR messaging tips to help improve your overall communications strategy.
Communication is what successful PR is built on, but there’s so much noise from other businesses and competing firms, that it’s difficult to stand out as a valued business. You obviously have a lot to offer, but if you can’t successfully communicate that to your customers, you might as well stay mute.
You need a strong messaging strategy to improve your PR. A good PR messaging strategy involves using your core company values to convey messages to your customers. Some of the messaging methods will include:
- Company background stories
- About pages
- Press releases
- Mission and vision statements
- Blog articles
- Social media posts and profiles
This can be expensive and time consuming, but it will be one of the most worthwhile PR investments you make. If you’re truly seeking a better customer experience in your business, here are some PR strategies you need to try:
1. Ask productive questions
This is important for narrowing your topics. It’s easy to write a broad article or email reply, but it’s always better to be more specific in your responses. If you truly want to stand out, you need to ask yourself some of the following questions regarding a message:
- What problem will this solve for the customer?
- How will this change their perspective from this day forward?
- Why would anyone want to read the message?
- What will be the most memorable thing about the message?
- What’s your purpose in writing the message?
You may also need to think of similar questions to help narrow the focus, but this will get you started.
2. Be clear and concise
Everyone gets a little “fluffy” with their content sometimes, but communication that cuts back on the flowery and wordy language tends to perform better. Much of learning to write with precision comes from the editing portion of content creation. Delete unnecessary words and use active verbs to make your sentences stronger.
When communicating verbally, think about your communication techniques. It’s tempting to throw in an anecdote or repeat something you said earlier, but is it really necessary? Ask yourself some of the questions above to help determine what to share and what to leave out.
3. Leave the jargon behind
Good PR messaging uses words and ideas that the average customer understands. Industry-specific jargon leads to misinterpretations and the possible loss of customers.
You might be using jargon without even realizing it. Here are some of the most used jargon phrases:
- Touch base
Are any of these words a part of your everyday vocabulary? Removing some of them will help you avoid a PR nightmare.
4. Make your message memorable
There’s no point in communicating if the message doesn’t stick. It just turns into wasted time and money. Creating memorable messages is a challenge, but it’s easier if you follow the 4Cs model:
- Comprehension: Make sure your audience understands the main point through repetition, concision, and simplicity.
- Connection: There has to be value for the audience or they won’t pay attention. It’s best if your message solves a problem or elicits some form of emotional response.
- Credibility: The person conveying the message must be believable and have an air of authenticity. It’s often best to have someone with more qualifications share the message to help it stick.
- Contagious: The message must be spread by your audience in order to develop clout. The more people read it, the more they’ll begin to adopt your message and connect with your business.
From just these four points, it becomes a little clearer why a solid PR messaging strategy is vital. It helps ground your core values and lead your audience’s expectations. Overall, it’s much easier to maintain a good PR strategy if you have a pattern set in place to guide your path.
Guest writer Larry Alton is a freelance writer, blogger, and researcher.