The Messaging Model is used to reduce ‘noise’ in communications. Noise can be interpreted as too much or irrelevant knowledge which distracts from the intended message.
David Berlo’s expanded on earlier models, creating a well-defined approach that can be used to both create and analyse communications to ensure clear messaging is delivered consistently.
The model breaks-down the communication process into Source, Message, Channel and the Receiver (SMCR). Each component being critical to clarity.
Why is it used?
Writing accurate and engaging copy doesn’t have to be the reserve of marketing and communication experts. Repeatable models can be used to write clear and concise project messaging. Yet too many communications overload audiences with unnecessary information, or give rise to more questions than they answer.
When is it helpful?
Whenever there is a need to communicate via the written or spoken word, a repeatable model can be used to effectively engage the audience.
How is it applied?
Begin by identifying the key-message the team needs to convey; this could be something as simple as ‘UAT will begin in October’. Then identify who the Receiver is likely to be; e.g. a distributed network of well-educated and knowledgeable legal secretaries. It is helpful to keep the audience in mind throughout.
Following this identify the Source, depending on the key-message this could be delivered via an executive sponsor, project team member, or other.
When designing the Message, a simple three-point checklist can be followed to ensure:
- Clarity: avoid jargon and language that could alienate your target audience.
- Brevity: reduce perceived ‘noise’, such as too many key messages, or narrative that strays from the point.
- Consistency: consider that this single message is a single component of a much larger catalogue, maintain a common voice to keep the audience engaged.
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