Your message document need not be complex — two to three pages is standard. It includes:
- 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 XYZ Co.''
- The elevator speech. Keep it to three to four floors! Practice a 15-second pitch on how you and your organization can help your ''elevator-mate’s'' organization succeed. What they want to know is ''What can you do for me?''
- Must-say messages. These are the four or five most important messages everyone in your organization must know by heart. They should be in all communication. When you do a press interview, for example, you should weave them into your answers — regardless of the questions.
- Main messages. These comprise a couple of pages of accurate details about your organization/services/products/industry that everyone on your team can cut and paste into proposals, presentations, articles, letters, op-eds, fact sheets, and marketing and sales materials.
About the Author
Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and the author of How Come No One Knows About Us? (WBusiness Books, May 2008), the ultimate PR guide for any organization. To get a full chapter by email (called ''Use These 16 Sure-Fire Ways to Come Up with Story Ideas that Will Attract Press'') from his upcoming book, to inquire about his availability for speeches or workshops, or to subscribe to his popular monthly online newsletter, PR Quick Tips, contact him at email@example.com or
703-503-9321. His website is www.rdccommunication.com.