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Create an Effective Message, Jargon Free

Every organization needs to develop a message before interacting with the media. This message needs to be reiterated each time you communicate with the press and should stay the same everytime. Make sure that it is clear and easy to understand, and includes the problem at hand and your solution to that problem. If your message is about the excessive pollution of the Susquehanna River, don't stop there. Include your solution to this problem and the actions people need to take.

Use your organizational messages as the foundation of all campaigns or projects. They may have their own 'sub' messages, but should be arteries to your main road.

Also remember that your message shouldn't contain scientific or technological jargon. You understand what you are saying because you work with it everyday, but the general public may not. Your key message may get lost amongst the definitions and terminology. Keep it plain and simple.

A great example comes from Amy Kostant of Environmental Media Services (www.ems.org). You could have your message be: POPs are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. With the evidence of long-range transport of these substances to regions where they have never been introduced and the consequent threats they pose to the environment of the whole globe, the international community has now, at several occasions called for urgent global actions to reduce and eliminate releases of these chemicals.

Or you could decide this is more to the point: POPs are the worst chemicals in the world. 120 countries have agreed to ban them.

Which is more eye catching and effective to you?

If you want additional help, download Bullfighter from www.fightthebull.com. This software finds and eliminates jargon from your documents, in either Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. Download it here: http://www.fightthebull.com/bullfighter.asp.

August 16, 2005 in Media Training, Message Development, Working with The Press | Permalink

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