My organization recently changed its name from Christian Children’s Fund to ChildFund International. Messaging was critical and continues to be so as we work to raise our visibility.
I was fortunate last week to attend a session on messaging presented by Paula Otto, a former broadcast journalist and now Executive Director of the Virginia Lottery.
In this day of Twitter (140 characters or less) how do you get your message out? Paula suggested breaking the message into 3 parts –
1) What’s the one thing I want people to remember? (47 characters or less)
2) If I were calling someone to tell them about this, what would I say? (66 characters or less)
3) What’s my headline? (19 characters or less)
Even after completing 1, 2 and 3, you still come in at less than 140 characters.
Numbers 1 and 2 resonated with me because I’d always been told, “Pretend you have to tell your story to your mother (or best friend). What would you tell them?” The point is that what you begin with is most likely your key message.
Paula’s take on that idea was to review your notes or research and then cover the notes. Now begin writing and put in everything you remember. Again, those are your key messages.
In short, be short.