PR messaging depends on clear communication. The problem is that there’s so much noise from competing firms that it can be nearly impossible 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.
Any good PR messaging strategy involves conveying to the public (aka future clients) both your core company values and the benefits you can provide them. But whether you do it on your About page, in press releases, blog posts, or a mission statement – or ideally all of those and more – be sure to use these tips. PR messaging is too important to jump in unprepared.
1. Ask productive questions
It’s easy to write a broad article or email reply, but it’s always better to be more specific in your communications. If you truly want to stand out, you need to ask yourself some of the following questions regarding your messaging.
- What problem will this solve for my customer?
- How will this change their perspective from this day forward?
- Why would anyone want to read this message?
- What will be the most memorable thing about this message?
And perhaps the most important of all: Why am I writing this?
If your answers to these aren’t strong and clear, there’s no way your PR messaging will be.
2. Be clear and concise
Everyone gets a little fluffy with their content sometimes, but communication that cuts back on the flowery language should always be your goal. Tip within a tip: much of writing with precision comes in the editing stage 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?
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 loss of customers.
Problem is, you might be using jargon without even realizing it. Keep an eye out for some of these offenders:
- circle back
- touch base
Eliminating the use of these (and these) will make for communication that everyone can understand.
4. Make your message memorable
There’s no point in communicating if the message doesn’t stick. 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.
- Contagiousness: The message must be spread by your audience in order to develop clout. The more people who read it, the more people will begin to adopt your message and connect with your business.
A good PR messaging strategy will guide all your communications efforts. And these four tips are a straightforward way of building such a strategy.
This post was originally published, in a slightly different format, on October 5, 2016.