11/21/13

4 Tips to Develop a Clear and Concise Message

One of the first things a reporter asks in an interview is for a description of what your business does.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, sadly, for many it’s not as easy as it sounds. It should be, but more often than you’d think, it’s not.

In my opinion, the reason is simple.  People think it’s so easy to explain what they do that they don’t actually take the time to think about it beforehand to know how they’ll describe what they do when the opportunity presents itself.  I once had a job recruiter tell me that something like 70-80 percent of job applicants blow the interview with the first interview question.  The first question in a job interview is similar to a media interview, tell me about yourself.  It should be easy enough, right?  But think about it.  If I asked you right now to tell me about yourself, could you describe yourself with something intelligent that accurately portrays who you are?

Now, if I asked you to tell me about your business, could you?  Could you tell me in one sentence or a couple sentences what you do in a way that I would instantly get what your business does?

If you can, congratulations, you’re among the elite.  I’m basing this off of years of experience and of helping clients identify their key messages and an accurate elevator pitch that concisely describes what they do.

Many companies don’t know or can’t communicate effectively what they do.  It’s also fairly common for teams to be on different pages as to what it is that their company does.  The result of this inability to describe what they do or the confusion created because they’re on different pages results in a mixed message.  When enough mixed messages are disseminated through the media it makes a company look bad, unorganized and unsure of what they do.

It’s important to decide what are the most important messages you want to convey.  From a PR perspective, what does the reporter need to know in order to understand what your company does or the benefits your product or service provides.

Media messaging and positioning creates a communications platform that will drive all communications from the company for each segment including industry thought leadership and expertise. It helps decide key target audiences, and overall corporate position.  It is incorporated into content creation, media relations and editorial support, the company website, the company blog and social media.

This is where a good PR person or team comes in.  The words don’t always have to be the same, but the overall message should be consistent and accurate.  Listed below are four key elements to focus on when determining your company’s message.

Having a clear and concise message will help prepare for media interviews and will allow you to have something to fall back on so when you are asked and nerves kick in, you know exactly how to respond. It’s important to know the messaging and how to effectively communicate it.  It doesn’t mean you have to repeat the words verbatim and sound robotic, but it’s important to communicate the right message.

When a company has a clear, concise and streamlined message that clearly tells what the company does consumers, clients and potential partners don’t have to waste valuable time trying to decipher and understand what you do.  They can simply make their decision to purchase or become a client.

Author: Jeremy Kartchner | Google+

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About the author

Jeremy Kartchner
Jeremy Kartchner

Jeremy Kartchner is a Partner at Snapp Conner PR and has more than 15 years experience in both technology and sports PR.  In addition to his responsibilities with Snapp Conner PR, Kartchner also works with the Utah Jazz as a member of its Game Night public relations staff where he is responsible for tracking and providing game time statistics for local, national and international media and conducting pre and post game player and coach interviews. He’s a sports fan, golfer, father of three, husband to one hottie, partially bionic, cavity free, Olympics junkie and wanna be blogger.

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