Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
October 28, 2008

Sticky Messaging for the Media

Putting together a message about your company, idea, product or brand that rises above the clutter is getting harder all of the time. 

Andrew Gilman is president and CEO for CommCore Consulting Group took on the task of teaching communicators at the PRSA International Conference how to create memorable quotes and sound bites. He outlined a process that will help pitches and interviews be more believable and “sticky.”

Three Steps to Building a Sticky Sound Bite

  • Relay the claim or Headline: We care about the voice of the customer
  • Proof to back up the claim (Fact): We made over 52 changes based on customer feedback
  • Short story to illustrate the claim (Visual or Story): Here is an example of a change we made based on customer feedback on what that means

Once you build a number of these sound bites and claims, the team can then pick the appropriate spokesperson or vehicle to deliver these messages to media, and also can vet the idea against the possible reactions or opposition that might arise by competitors or detractors.

Overall, Gilman provided a simple framework to start improving your pitches immediately, going way beyond the corporate speak and jargon-filled language that PR professionals tend to pack into press releases.

Also, read Andrew Gilman’s blog post Get Your Facts Straight and Stick to the Point.
By Kami Watson Huyse, APR, principal of My PR Pro, is an Ad Age “Power 150” blogger who writes about public relations and communications at Communication Overtones. She has an extensive background in crisis communication and reputation management, executing social media campaigns, focus group research and media relations. She has garnered coverage for her clients in media outlets such as the Washington Post, theWall Street Journal, the CBS’ “The Early Show” and the San Antonio Express News, among others.


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