Speaking with a client recently, we got into a discussion about the importance of Key Messages for their organization. How I like to explain it to them is, essentially your Key Messages are your organization’s Communications Bible, Qu’ran or equally important doctrine of conduct you need to better communicate and reach your objectives. Key Messages help organizations set the tone for the business, create internal language and position itself on a given issue or activity. They help discuss the company’s focus or stance while providing updates on its activities.

Key Messages dictate your internal and external narrative, your storytelling and how people will perceive your organization. The messages you share with your public are the ones they are going to remember, so you need a guideline on what to say and how to say it. Key Messages are, essentially, set messages at the core of your brand and communication activities.



It is important to develop Key Messages because they serve as the basis for all your communication activities. Your Key Messages should be used as the internal document that helps all your teams communicate the same messages to all audiences. When developing sales kits, your sales teams need to be using the same language, terminology and tone that is consistent with the organization’s brand. For example, if your PR team decides that clients need to be as “guests” because they want people to feel welcome and it sets a tone of being at their service, then you want your sales materials to use the term “guests” throughout its text, as well as when communicating with them directly (e.g. email, in person, onboarding documents, etc.).

Your Key Messages also guide your overall communications strategy. For example, if your communications goal is to position your widget company as the most environmentally responsible widget company, then you need your Key Messages to use language and messages that showcase how the company is environmentally responsible. Your Key Messages should help explain your company’s differentiating factors in a clear and concise way.



Think of your Key Messages as the key points you want people to understand about your company, product or service. A Key Message is a statement or claim you are making. Just as in any dissertation, you must also back up your claim with proof points. As such, your Key Messages are just like a thesis: noun/a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved.

That burden of proof is essentially what your public relations and communications team member or consultant is hired to develop for you. They are the ones who have been trained to identify and create the best points and messages that will resonate with your audiences. Sounds simple enough, right?

As with any profession, the art of Public Relations is mastered through process, strategy, training and practice over years of practice. Even the most skilled PR practitioner creates, adapts and recreates Key Messages to find the best ways to reach ever-changing audience needs.



While Key Messages allow organizations to create concrete tone, language and positioning, it is also an evolving, working document. Confusing, right?

We just finished saying that your Key Messages are set and are the company’s guidelines when it comes to all its internal and external communications. However, they can change over time. YES! Absolutely. They must.

Your Key Messages will change with new products, new client needs and new audiences you are trying to reach. Your tone and language may stay the same, but the messages can change over time so your various teams need to work closely with your communications consultants. Together you can help reach the organization’s overall business goals by having clear, consistent messages that your customers, partners and/or investors will remember.

Below is a downloadable Key Messages template you can use for your organization. It designates sections for the Key Message, audience considerations, your supporting points, a list for supplemental resources and a section for feedback to identify the need for changes. You are welcome to use this template or adapt it to your company needs. If you need additional support, PR Consult is here to help.