Key Messaging

Date: 13 – 14 May 2021  
Time: 08:30 – 16:00

Venue: Little Tuscany Boutique Hotel, 48 Queens Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg 

Workshop outline:
The reputation of a company is critical to its success and awarded time in the media. It is also critical at times of crisis. Dealing with media is a skill.

It can either be a fun experience or a daunting experience. Every company should have a spokesperson or spokespeople who are well-trained and equipped with the skills to engage with media.

This course will teach delegates how to identify important key messages to communicate with the media no matter the platform. It also touches on PR etiquette and the dos and don’ts of media interviews, as well as how to handle the different types of media. Transparency is key when dealing with media but knowing what to say and ensuring your facts are 100% correct, is also imperative. The “no comment” approach is deadly and is usually a result of a company being unprepared.

This course will help you know what to say when, how to say it and who to say it to. It will also teach you to think proactively so that you are as prepared as possible to handle media interviews and be able to prepare spokesperson of company / client so that they may walk into the interview feeling confident and informed.

Programme outline:

Day 1: Key Messaging
Introduction to key messaging

  • Why is key messaging important?
  • How does key messaging link to PR?
  • Where is key messaging used and by whom?
  • How to identify key messages
  • What are proof points?
  • How to identify proof points
  • Activity: Brainstorm key messages and proof points
  • Activity: development of key messages and proof points
  • Presentation and discussion
  • Intro to media training and the link to key messaging
  • The purpose of a briefing document
  • How to include key messaging in media briefing documents
  • Dress code for media interviews

Day 2: Media Training

  • Reputation and the media – the importance of media relationships
  • Editorial versus advertorial
  • What is a media pitch and what does media lobbying entail?
  • What makes news?
  • Crisis versus general news
  • How to handle media queries and meet given media deadlines
  • The basics of proactive and reactive media statements
  • Plugging in your key messages
  • Tips on media etiquette
  • The basics of the PR code of conduct
  • What is a sound bite?
  • Interviewee techniques
  • Dos and don’ts of media interviews – what to look out for
  • Activity: Preparation of a briefing document
  • Activity: simulation of an actual live on-camera media interview (with camera, lights, a mic and an interviewer)
  • Activity: Playback and discussion/critique of media interviews

As a result of participating effectively in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and integrate reputation and PR
  • Prepare key messages with back up proof points for clients / the company or for various client product offerings
  • Integrate key messaging across communication and creative platforms and tools
  • Understand the importance and necessity for consistent messaging
  • Prepare a comprehensive briefing document
  • Understand how to liaise and interact with media
  • Fully understand the process of media lobbying
  • Handle media queries and meet given media deadlines
  • Advise clients and/or internal communications on how to handle media queries
  • Manage and set up media interviews
  • Undertake media interviews on radio, in print and on TV – as allowed by the company / client
  • Provide advice to the business on how social media affects a brand
  • Recognise interviewer types and respond accordingly using interviewee techniques for the best outcome

Every business has key messages that need to be identified and relayed consistently across all communication platforms. Often companies and / or clients do not have a clear understanding of what their key messages are. This confusion is sometimes misperceived as being dishonest. Once you have the recipe to prepare key messages and understand the importance of these when dealing with the media, you will be able to face media interviews with confidence and keep the reputation of the company / client in good sentiment.
About our facilitator:
Bonnie is an accredited Chartered Public Relations Practitioner and has been in the in public relations, communications, brand health, marketing and events industries for 20+ years. She has qualifications in public relations, social media and networking, crisis communication, marketing and brand and animal psychology.

With an entrepreneurial background, a keen interest in law and many valuable years in the corporate and consumer space, Bonnie brings both strategic and creative insight to the table. In her 20-year career she has worked with national and global companies such as (but not limited to) SAB, Ford, WesBank, Jaguar Land Rover, Mondelēz International (Cadbury), Pandora, Standard Bank, Austell, ACDOCO, Bilfinger, Steinmüller Africa, Coca Cola and Nampak. Bonnie has project-managed extensive projects and is highly skilled in crisis communications and management, media training, product launches, developing and implementing rebranding strategies, change management and many other integrated marketing communications activities.

In the industry, Bonnie is known as “The Reputationalist”. She offers specialist freelance services across the integrated marketing communications landscape and lives by her quote: “Your reputation is your success. It’s your credibility. Take it seriously.”

CPD Programme Fees 2021

Duration:  2 days
CPD points: 15
Early bird PRISA member R 4 800.00
Late PRISA member R 5 030.00
Early bird non-member R 5 320.00
Late non-member R 5 600.00
PRISA registered students R 2 720.00

*Accommodation NOT included in any of the fees
*Fees subject to change

Student and member fee rate/s only applicable if PRISA membership fees are paid in full at time of booking. The PRISA CPD programme adheres to the criteria required by SAQA for a recognised professional body. The programme is put together following the Global Alliance best practice professional development framework.

To book contact: Annah Jordan at or 011 326 1262.