We’re digging into the meat of public relations in this post, building on our previous posts about what exactly PR is and how to identify your messaging type and your audience. Now let’s discuss how to develop the specific message.
Once you’ve determined what type of message you want to make public, meet with all the internal stakeholders to prioritize the content. If the message pertains to many interconnected departments or organizations, it’s important to ensure each are accurately and equally represented. In some cases, like in press releases about mergers or partnerships, a brief history of each party helps to introduce how the organizations came to work together and sets the stage for the bigger message.
The main idea, of course, is the sole purpose of the announcement or message. It’s best to limit metaphors and excessive language in this section because it detracts from the point and diminishes the effect of good news (or generally fails to soften bad news). Just like in a business meeting, once the introductions have been made, it’s time to get to the point. When the announcement has been established, elaborate on what it means for the short- and long-term future of your organization, and incorporate direct quotes from the decision makers who were integral to the process.
Finally, the content you make public needs to adhere to your brand standards, regardless of the messaging type or vehicle. Establish criteria for written messaging that is kept consistent across everything you publish. Brand management is an important element of marketing, and it shouldn’t be ignored when tailoring your PR. There is crossover in your audience base, and it’s important that people recognize PR announcements as coming from your established identity, even if it’s something as simple as the way you stylize your URL on a press release.
With these starting points for content development in mind, you will soon be well on your way to delivering a clear, concise message that is a direct extension of your employees, your brand, and your business acumen.