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Predetermined Messages are Critical – Developing Message Maps
A key step in effective crisis communications planning is to develop clear and concise messages that address stakeholder questions and concerns.
One of the most powerful tools for preparing clear and concise messages is the message map.
A message map consists of detailed and hierarchically organized information that can be used to respond to anticipated questions or concerns. It is vital that key messages be concisely stated. Firestorm helps craft these messages with you, and provides sample statements for varying audiences and scenarios. These message maps are customized based upon your Company’s defined policies and planned responses.
As part of crafting these messages, it is important to:
- Identify what you most want the target audience to know.
- Identify what you need to do to correct misconceptions or erroneous information.
- Prepare three key messages that communicate your overarching (core) talking points
- Prepare supporting message points for each key message
- Develop supporting material for each message (for example, visuals, examples, quotes, personal stories, analogies, endorsements by credible third parties, or directions for obtaining additional information);keep messages simple and short.
- Document in writing the recommended messages and supporting material
- Practice delivery
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