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How to Get Your Entire Organization "On Message" Today


Guest articles > How to Get Your Entire Organization "On Message" Today


by: Robert Deigh


Whether you have four employees or 40,000, the ability of every member of your team to speak in a unified voice is a very powerful public relations tool.

Effective messaging provides you and your team with a focused "codebook" to communicate with all audiences: customers, potential customers, the press, investors, partners and employees. It provides a shortcut for creating speeches, marketing materials, web site text, news releases and language for proposals, contracts and other official communication.

Your team members will find it indispensible when they have to create any form of public communication - whether it is the home page of your Web site, a press release, a proposal or even the on-hold message for your phone system.

Your message document need not be complex -- 2-3 pages is standard. It includes:

1) The ID graph. This is a single paragraph, the "boilerplate," that describes your organization. Like all of the other messages below, it should answer the question "What Can You Do For Me?" It is often used at the bottom of press releases under "About XYZCo."

2) The Elevator Speech. Keep it to 3-4 floors. Practice a 15- second pitch on the way in which you and your organization can help your "elevator-mate's" organization succeed. This is a good conversation starter at networking events.

3) Must Say Messages. These are the five or six most important messages everyone in your organization should know by heart. Those messages should be in ALL communication. When you do a presentation, for example, you should weave them into your answers. And, the only reason to do a media interview is to get your messages into print, on the air or online and out to your audiences.

4) Main Messages. These comprise a couple pages worth of details about your organization/services/products/industry that everyone on your team can cut and paste into proposals, presentations, articles, letters, Op-Eds, factsheets, marketing and sales materials.

Once your messages document is finalized, you, as CEO, or another senior executive, should present it to the company at an all-hands meeting to underscore its importance. Remember, a set of messages is not a word-for-word script; it is a guide to help every member of your team be a more effective communicator.


Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and the author of "How Come No One Knows About Us?" (WBusiness Books, available May 2008), the PR guide for organizations large and small that want to win big visibility. Deigh helps organizations increase their visibility and build their brands by creating strong and positive relationships with the press and other audiences. He is also a well-known speaker and trainer on media and PR topics. Want more free info to build your business? Subscribe to Deigh’s popular monthly 1-page online newsletter “PR Quick Tips” from his website at He can be reached via email at, or by phone at 703-503-9321.

Contributor: Robert Deigh

Published here on: 05=Dec-10

Classification: PR



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