Use This Easy Exercise To Create A Winning Message

Written by Brad Phillips @MrMediaTraining on October 17, 2011 – 6:26 am

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Tim Horan, a media relations professional based in Sydney, Australia. I liked his straightforward approach to message creation, and asked him for permission to share his idea with this blog’s readers.

When I was in primary school, I loved English class. But the one thing I could never understand was the different parts of speech. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, I just didn’t get it.

That was until fifth grade, when my teacher said: “Verbs are doing words, adjectives are describing words.” That was great advice, and I used that lesson throughout the rest of primary and high school.

I’m going to take that advice and use it to help you create a message for your organization. What is your business doing? How is it doing it? That is your message. It’s your chance to start a conversation with an audience about what you have to offer.

Grab a pen and some paper and write your business name at the top. Now write two or three verbs and two or three adjectives that describe your business and tell people what it is doing.

I’ve created an example below to show how easy it is:

Business Name: New Life Gym
Verbs: Encourage, Promote, Help
Adjectives: Healthy, Active, Positive


Now that you have these down on paper, all you have to do is work them into one or two sentences, maybe something like:

New Life Gym promotes a healthy, active lifestyle for members. Our fully trained staff will provide you with the help and encouragement you need to make the positive changes you desire.


That message is short and to the point. It touches on the key aims and strengths of your organization, what you do and how you do it. Keep it simple, and don’t add three words where one is enough.

Getting your message right is key. Whether you are writing a media release, giving an interview or taking out advertising, your message needs to be at the forefront of your media strategy.

Tim Horan is a media relations professional based in Sydney, Australia. He blogs at www.FreeMediaTraining.Net and Tweets at @OzMediaTraining.

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  • About Mr. Media Training

    The Mr. Media Training Blog offers daily tips to help readers become better media spokespersons and public speakers. It also examines how well (or poorly) public figures are communicating through the media.

    Brad Phillips is the Founder and Managing Editor of the Mr. Media Training Blog. He is the president of Phillips Media Relations, a media and presentation training firm with offices in NYC and DC.

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    Before founding Phillips Media Relations in 2004, Brad worked as a journalist with ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel and CNN's Reliable Sources and The Capital Gang.

    Brad tweets at @MrMediaTraining.

    Christina Mozaffari is the Senior Writer for the Mr. Media Training Blog. She is the Washington, D.C. vice president for Phillips Media Relations.

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    Before joining Phillips Media Relations in 2011, Christina worked as a journalist with NBC News, where she produced stories for MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show.

    Christina tweets at @PMRChristina.

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