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The Message Map

We’ve talked about why we need to keep our emergency key messages simple and limited (3 maximum), and that first and last messages delivered are likely to be the messages most remembered by people under stress.

Now, we can look at a method of delivering those messages. The MESSAGE MAP organizes those key messages into a simple format and allows for supporting messages to follow once the key messages have been presented.

The MESSAGE MAP can be used to outline a speech at a news conference, a news release, a preparation for a media interview or, any other fact sheet or handout as an emergency event unfolds.

Here’s what a message map looks like:

Message Map
Topic: What is this about? type of incident or emergency.
Audience: External or internal, media and public, stakeholder?
Concern: What question s from public/stakeholders are we addressing?
User: Who will use this message map? Spokesperson, public inquiry line staff?  Or will it be included in release/speech? 

Timing: is this messaging at the onset of the crisis? In the recovery phase?

Key Message 1 Key Message 2
Key Message 3
Supporting message/fact 1 Supporting message/ fact 1 Supporting message/act 1
Supporting message/fact 2 Supporting message/fact 2 Supporting message/fact 2
Supporting message/fact 3 Supporting message/fact 2 Supporting message/fact 2

Remember: Deliver the messages with (CCO) compassion, confidently and give people some optimism as to the outcome of the events unfolding.

For more details on MESSAGE MAPPING, I’ve provided a link to the US Environmental Protection Agency webpage on this subject and a video explaining how it works by Dr Vincent Covello, who developed this message deliver method.

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