Marketing Review

All about marketing

What Makes A Good Message?

When you take part in a media interview or give a presentation, it should be to get across a message, whether its about your new product, research, or to talk about a specific event (good or bad), but it has to be carried out to achieve something, otherwise whats the point?

You are there to; speak to your stakeholders, win clients, impress shareholders or push your agenda and even if you are just providing comment on an event, your underlying message ought to be we are experts in this field so you should listen to/do business with us.

However, its no good deciding to go into an interview or presentation hoping to communicate an idea, unless you can support it with evidence and include a call to action. For example; saying we are customer focused is not really a message; in fact its a rather overused statement that most people who hear it will think is just one of those things that companies say.

What can you do to turn this into a real message? Firstly, ask yourselves if this is really what you want to communicate to your audience if not then you need to work out what is. Secondly, its a phrase you hear a lot, so it has to be given some support; are there statistics, anecdotes or other pieces of evidence (e.g. 75% of our business is repeat customers) you can provide to prove this isnt just another piece of marketing speak? Thirdly; so what?

You need a call to action, otherwise what do you want your audience to do with this message or idea (e.g. you want people to believe that youre worth doing business with because the care and attention you give customers is superior to your competition).

Having a set of strong messages will also give you safe territory to retreat to if you come under pressure in an interview or presentation. Then, if you lose your way, or find yourself being drawn into areas you dont want to discuss, you know that you can get back to your messages and they will be compelling enough to pull the agenda back into your control.

One thing to keep in mind (particularly for a media interview); we are at the stage now where the word message brings up too many reminders of bad political interviewees and slippery spin doctors, so we dont advise using this word in an actual interview. Try using language like; our ideas or the main issue for us. Also; the word is a little too much like PR jargon and its best to steer clear of company speak when engaging with external audiences.

So how do you successfully deliver these messages? Thats where our media training and presentation training courses come in, but once youve put together three strong ideas, each with evidence and a call to action, thats going to be a lot easier.

Will Edwards has extensive knowledge of media training, presentation training and client development. He is responsible for client relations at Bluewood where he aims to deliver the best service in the market. Go to for more information

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