Your Final Messages

This is the final installment in a seven-part series that will teach you how to create effective and memorable media messages.

Over the past few weeks, you’ve learned how to create three audience-centered messages, as well as message supports (stories, social statistics and sound bites).

Now it’s time to put them all together in preparation for your future media interviews. First, take out three 5” x 7” file cards. On the first one, write your first message. Beneath the first message, create five bullets. For the first two, write your two stories; for the next two, write your social statistics; for your final bullet, write your sound bite.

Odds are, you have a clutter of text. So take out another file card, and reduce your words to just a word or two for each bullet to serve as a memory trigger.

For example, you might write:

MESSAGE: “If we don’t pass this bill, thousands of pregnant Pennsylvania women will have to drive more than 100 miles to find a doctor to deliver their baby.”

  • STORIES: Amber Peterson, Dr. Paul Reno
  • STATS: Doc Sued 2-3x , Family Pays $3,400
  • SOUND BITE: “Lawyers only winners”

When you’re finished with message one, do the same for messages two and three. A few final points:

1. Feel free to bring your note cards to any phone interview, in-person print or radio interview (internalize a few of the main points for a television interview).

2. Yes, coming up with good messaging is a lot of work. But now that you’ve completed this exercise, your messages should last for months, or even years.

3. This system is flexible. If you hear a great story or statistic tomorrow that reinforces your message, bump out an old one and insert the new one.

Congratulations – you’re now ready for any media interview!