How to create a message map

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The Message Map is a visual aid. It allows you to prepare and to organize answers to the questions you are most likely to hear from the news media and from the public during a crisis. It is based on research that looked into how people process information when they are under stress.

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How to create a message map

  1. 1. How to Create a Message Map* Rusty Cawley, APR | TheColdCrisis.com * Condensed from the National Center for Food Protection and Defense’s “Risk Communicator Training for Food Defense Preparedness, Response & Recovery,” module 3, topic 2.
  2. 2. What is a message map? Key Message # 1 Key Message # 2 Key Message # 3 Supporting message 1a Supporting message 2a Supporting message 3a Supporting message 1b Supporting message 2b Supporting message 3b Supporting message 1c Supporting message 2c Supporting message 3c
  3. 3. Stress is noise
  4. 4. Normal: 7 High stress: 3
  5. 5. The Rule of Three 1. Just three key messages. 2. Repeat each three times. 3. Three supporting messages for each.
  6. 6. The 27/9/3 Rule 1. Sound bite: 27 words 2. Deliver in just nine seconds 3. Limit: 3 key messages
  7. 7. The three most important things … • You want your audience to know? • Your audience wants to know? • Your audience is likely to get wrong?
  8. 8. Key Message # 1 Key Message # 2 Key Message # 3 Supporting message 1a Supporting message 2a Supporting message 3a Supporting message 1b Supporting message 2b Supporting message 3b Supporting message 1c Supporting message 2c Supporting message 3c
  9. 9. # 1 1a 1b 1c Key Message Should be able to stand alone
  10. 10. # 1 1a 1b 1c Key Message Should be able to stand alone Three supporting messages
  11. 11. What should I know about anthrax? 1. Anthrax is a disease that can affect people and animals. 2. Anthrax occurs naturally in the soil. 3. Anthrax is both preventable and treatable. 1a. Anthrax is caused by bacteria that form spores. 2a. Anthrax occurs worldwide. 3a. Effective vaccines are available for livestock. 1b. The spores can be inhaled, swallowed or may enter through the skin. 2b. Spores are resistant to most disinfectants. 3b. Vaccines for humans are developed, and may be used before or after exposure. 1c. Animals most often affected are cattle, sheep and goats. 2c. Anthrax spores can survive for many years in soil without an animal host. 3c. Early treatment with antibiotics can be effective.
  12. 12. Benefits? Create messages in advance.
  13. 13. Benefits? Build a repository.
  14. 14. Benefits? Identify gaps in your knowledge.
  15. 15. • A message map answers the most likely questions.
  16. 16. • Three key messages • Repeat three times • Three supporting messages
  17. 17. • A sound bite • < 27 words • < 9 seconds.
  18. 18. To learn more, visit TheColdCrisis.com Search: #COLDCRISIS

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