How do you create simple and effective messaging?


Before you start any communication, ask yourself: What’s the message? Who’s my audience? What’s important to them? What are the key points? Also remember, the more you can target the audience’s specific needs, the better.

For example, you want your school to recycle more to help combat climate change. So you write an article in the school newspaper on the general facts of how recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

Using three points in your message

It would’ve been more effective in this example if you focused on the difference your school community could make if they recycled more. Messages have more impact when they are simple and clear. In fact, they should have no more than three primary points. In our example, the three points could be:

  • Climate change is a real threat to your way of life. (This makes the message personal by showing the audience how climate change directly affects them.)
  • Our school could make a difference if students, staff, and families recycle more. (This point emphasizes that individuals can have a positive impact.)
  • Get involved in recycling initiatives and help spread the word about recycling on social media. (This final point is the call to action.)

All your communications should have a call to action that clearly sets out what you want people to do. Raising awareness of an issue is a good first step, but you want people to take action, like signing a petition or joining a rally.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Another tip for creating simple and effective messaging is ‘repeat, repeat, repeat’! It’s believed that a person must see/hear a message at least seven times before they take action.

So with the school newspaper article, start off with a clear call to action asking people to recycle, followed by some climate change facts and figures and then another call to action to recycle.

Or if you’re running a social media campaign across different platforms, make sure your messaging is consistent. You may feel you’re repeating yourself, but with all the noise on social media, your message can easily get lost.