Messaging 101 crafting your message to engage the media and other audiences
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Messaging 101: Crafting Your Message to Engage the Media (and Other Audiences) . March 18, 2011. Agenda for Today. Introductions and Housekeeping Framing the Message Why Messaging is So Important What Makes a Strong Message Understanding Your Audience

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Messaging 101: Crafting Your Message to Engage the Media (and Other Audiences)

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Messaging 101 crafting your message to engage the media and other audiences

Messaging 101: Crafting Your Message to Engage the Media (and Other Audiences)

March 18, 2011


Agenda for today

Agenda for Today

  • Introductions and Housekeeping

  • Framing the Message

    • Why Messaging is So Important

    • What Makes a Strong Message

    • Understanding Your Audience

    • Developing Messages Around YOUR Issue(s)

  • Wrap Up


Getting attention is hard to do

Getting Attention is Hard To Do

“Content is not a scarce resource; attention is a scarce resource.”

Pete Cashmore, Founder of Mashable


Message bombardment

Message Bombardment


Messaging quiz

MESSAGING QUIZ


Too many organizations communicate like this

Too Many Organizations Communicate Like This


The way you see things is the way you see things

The Way You See Things Is The Way You See Things


The way you see things is the way you see things1

The Way You See Things Is The Way You See Things


It s all about the frame

It’s All About The Frame

Frames are mental structures that shape the way we think. As a result, they shape the goals we seek, the places we make, the way we act and what counts as a good or bad outcome of our actions. In politics, frames shape our social polices and the institutions we form we to carry out our policies. To change our frames is to change all of this. Reframing is social change.

-George Lackoff, Don’t Think of An Elephant


Framing messages

Framing Messages

  • What are the common beliefs/ understanding/values of your issues?

  • What is the current conversation about this issue? Who is shaping the discussion and how is it playing out in the media?

  • How do the frames that people have affect policy?

  • How can the conversation be reframed to reflect a broader range of choices?


Bad framing pepco

Bad Framing: PEPCO

  • "Pepco acknowledged that it does not know whether the projects in the new plan will actually achieve its reliability goals because it had not fully analyzed them," the report said. "With this ready-shoot-aim approach a portion of the Company's planned capital spending is almost certainly poorly targeted."

  • Bob Hainey, a Pepco spokesman, disagreed with the consultants' conclusions about the reliability plan. "We don't feel like that is something that was just cobbled together," Hainey said. "We're spending millions in additional money to trim trees. We will probably have a discussion with them on that."

    Source: Washington Post A-1, March 8, 2011


Research internal and external

Research (Internal and External)

Internal

  • Resources and Capacity

  • Your reputation? Awareness quotient?

  • Academics or street fighters?

    External

  • What is your reputation?

  • Timing issues?

  • What is the state of the conversation about your issue? Who else is working on this?

  • Who are your allies? Opponents? What are their resources?

  • How has your issue been portrayed in the media?


Research

Research

  • Google News Is Your Friend

  • Look at how all sides are framing/talking about your issues


Targeting audiences

TARGETING AUDIENCES


Audiences

Audiences

  • Who do you need to reach and why?

  • What stake do they have in your issue?

  • Are they a supporter? A detractor? A connector and influencer? Neutral?

  • Are they movable on your issue, either closer to you or further away?

  • How do they get information?

  • Are they watching TV, reading newspapers; online? Word of mouth?

  • What influences them?


Types of audiences

Types of Audiences

Primary

  • Absolutely essentially to the success of your efforts

  • Board, Staff, Donors, Political Leaders, Government Agencies, Partners

    Secondary

  • Influences Primary Audience (media, think tanks, researchers, recognized and leading authorities on an issue)


Six questions to ask when crafting messages

Six Questions to Ask When Crafting Messages

  • Who is your audience?

  • What matters to your audience? What are their values and concerns as it relates to your issue?

  • What are your common values?

  • What are the barriers to people understanding/hearing your messages?

  • What is the action you would like them to take?

  • If they take this action, what changes and why is that in their interest?


Map audiences against desired outcomes

Map Audiences Against Desired Outcomes


Elements of framing

ELEMENTS OF FRAMING

Source: Frameworks Institute www.frameworksinstitute.org


Six questions to answer when crafting messages

Six Questions to Answer When Crafting Messages

  • Who are you?

  • What’s the Burning Problem You Want to Solve?

  • What’s the Unique Opportunity (Urgency?)

  • What’s the Solution?

  • So What?

  • What’s the Action?


Case study madd

CASE STUDY: MADD

  • Who We are: Organization dedicated to stopping drunk driving and helping the victims of it.

  • Burning Problem—People are dying from drunk driving. It’s a major violent crime and many of the perpetrators are underage teens. Too many people are maimed, injured or killed. Too many families are destroyed.

  • What’s the Unique Opportunity – We have the tools to stop it.

  • Solution: Enforcement, Prevention, Technology.

  • So what? We can save lives; spare anguish.

  • The Action: Support the heroes who keep roads safe; turn cars into the cure; blow before you go.


Messaging triangle

MESSAGING TRIANGLE

Key Message

Empower

Core Message

Key Message

Key Message


Messaging triangle1

MESSAGING TRIANGLE

Prevention

Safer Future by Eliminating Drunk Driving

Empower

Enforcement

Tougher Laws


What makes good messaging

What Makes Good Messaging

  • Clear, compelling messages give you the best chance to get your story told right

  • Messages are ideas that you want to convey

  • Messages are not sound bites, but sound bites reinforce and help convey messages

  • Messages must be repeated often to make impact

  • Stories help drive your message home; put a human face on your issue, create an emotional connection


What makes good messaging1

What Makes Good Messaging

  • Relevant

  • Concise

  • Memorable

  • Credible

  • Actionable


Madd messages

MADD Messages

  • We’re Saving Lives.

  • We’re eliminating a major violent crime, drunk driving.

  • We can achieve our goal by doing these three things:

    • Support the heroes who keep our roads safe

    • Turn cars into the cure

    • Blow before you go.

  • You Can Do Something.

    • Ask your representative to require interlocks for all offenders.

    • Learn the facts.

    • Sign the Pledge.


Messages that made a difference

Messages that Made A Difference

  • Change We Can Believe In

  • Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving

  • Race for the Cure

    Why have these been effective?


Resources

Resources:

Framing:

  • George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant

  • Frameworks Institute www.frameworksinstsitute.org

  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

  • Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say but What People Hear by Frank Luntz

    Media Relations

  • Media Relations Primer in your handouts

  • Guerilla PR, by Michael Levine

    Social Media

  • Mashablewww.mashable.com


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