By Marcus Donaldson
“Stay on message.” This is the advice of nearly any public relations professional in media relations. What is the message, though? I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The city’s own Debbie Wetherhead presented a professional development session on media training and delivering compelling messages. Wetherhead broke down her strategy for message development in five steps.
Step 1: Set the agenda. Determine who will be talking and what about.
Step 2: Develop key messages. What are we here to discuss? During this step, we tailor our messages to fit our established agenda.
Step 3: Find support. Here is where Wetherhead says communications professionals should back our key messages. Do research to give your messages a structured foundation.
Step 4: Prepare for Q&A. Think like a reporter and anticipate questions to prepare your trainee.
Step 5: Solidify a closing statement. In general your trainee should speak in sound bites, but the closing should be memorable, as well.
These are Wetherhead’s five step steps to crafting compelling messages. I look forward to using these steps to, hopefully, develop messages for PRSSA Kent’s future media training clients. Does your organization use these or similar formulas for media training message development? Share your thoughts below.