Media relations may be the foundation on which public relations was built, but oh how times have changed. Disintermediation, increased public scrutiny, consumer-generated media, stakeholder empowerment - you name it and it has probably affected the way PR executives communicate their messages to the media - and, subsequently, to their target audiences. But just as new communications platforms have developed to complicate the landscape, new methods of aligning messages with organizational goals have emerged. Hence, message mapping.
Message maps are communications tools that set a framework for the creation of key messages. In the words of MediaMasters CEO Tripp Frohlichstein, "Message mapping provides a consistency of message, not only for the person who is speaking, but for anyone else involved on the team. It's an easy way to help understand the message - what it is and how to support it. The whole idea is time efficiency and providing consistent messaging across the organization. (See page 7 for a sample message map.)
At first glance, the message map, with all its shapes and connector lines, may resemble a complex spider web that is easy to stumble into. But such is not the case, Frohlichstein insists.
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