What is a messaging angle?


Communications about a social cause or movement can often have multiple angles. This means that an issue can be viewed in a number of different ways. When developing a communication plan you’ll want to match your messaging angle with your audience.

For example, let’s say you’re writing an op-ed for the town newspaper with the intention of informing your community about the dangers of climate change. The best approach would be to take a local angle and explain how your town is impacted. Developing a strong pitch or message can be especially helpful in enticing the media to cover a topic. Reporters often don’t have a lot of time to research an issue. So it can be very helpful when you frame a story and explain why their audience will find it interesting.

What to keep in mind when composing your messaging angle

  • Is your angle relatable? Does your message relate to your audience’s own experiences? Are you using terms they’ll understand? Don’t use jargon or acronyms without clearly explaining them and use examples your audience might encounter in real life.
  • Is it original and/or timely? A fresh take on a longstanding topic can get your audience interested. Has there been new research on your chosen issue that you can comment on? Or maybe you’ve had an experience of a certain social cause that others haven’t.
  • Does it address the audience’s motivations? Create messages that will stir your target audience. What’s important to them? Why would they support/oppose your goals? What barriers might they encounter?

What is a point of view?

When talking about a cause, do more than just list facts and figures; ask yourself what you think of that particular topic. Many things can shape your own personal perspective, from being directly impacted by an issue or knowing someone who has, to doing research into it. Including your opinion will make your communications more relatable, and probably more enjoyable, for your audience. It’s also an excellent way to persuade others to adopt your point of view and take action.

How to craft opinion pieces.

  • Be brave. Putting your own voice out there for others can be scary and you may feel vulnerable – especially if you think your opinion isn’t popular or shared by others. You may want to find out first if people agree with you, but it’s ok if they don’t – not everyone thinks the same way as you do. Always be true to yourself.
  • Back it up. If you feel a certain way about a topic and there are facts to support your point of view, be sure to cite them in your communication.
  • Emotion is ok… up to a point! You may feel angry, sad, or frustrated when writing or speaking about a social cause, especially if you or a loved one has been personally affected. It can actually make your communication more impactful and relatable if the emotion you’re feeling shines through. But be careful not to let emotion overshadow the facts. You don’t want your audience to dismiss your point of view because they think your emotions have got the better of you.