The term ‘keep on message’ is one that we are familiar with during an election campaign as political leaders try and repeat the slogans that have come out of research as the sentiments that will best appeal to those important voters in the key marginals.

But why do they do it?

The simple reason is that repetition is how human beings remember things. It started with the repetition of the two times tables when we first started school and the same principle applies in all other instances where we need to remember something, or someone else feels we need to remember it. Cramming before an exam is an obvious example of the need to remember information in the hope that if we get that question our memory will be able to regurgitate the answer.

But how does this apply to you and communication about your business?

I have used the following phrase throughout my PR career to sum up how it works:

‘Effective communication is the repetition of credible key messages and the degree of repetition required is always underestimated’.

You have to tell ‘em, tell ’em you told ‘em, then tell ‘em again.

In every PR program we undertake, one of the vital first steps we do for our client is to develop the key messages, which are the ones that will repeated throughout the PR activities. I emphasise that they must be credible otherwise you risk shooting yourself in the foot as no one will believe you anyway.

Has anyone got any anecdotes of good, or bad examples of key messages?