What Are Themes and Messages?
Themes are the overarching idea and the message is the supporting statement aligned to the theme. Your themes and messages support strategic priorities, desired state and commander’s intent.
Themes and messages impact the key stakeholder and support the narrative. Your themes address the desired change in knowledge, attitude and/or behaviors tied to a key stakeholder or public. Your messages provide context and support for the theme.
Overarching ideas and supporting statements should be used in every engagement or conversation applicable to the key publics and stakeholders. There may be more than one theme for every objective and there should be 2-3 messages for every theme.
How to Craft an Effective Message
- Use your research on the key publics, stakeholders and the situation itself.
- Start with the end goal in mind: what action/knowledge/behavior change do you want to see as a result?
- Connect with communication goals and objectives: does the message advance the strategies and objectives to reach the goal?
- Keep it simple and eliminate jargon.
- Make it compelling and memorable, but not a slogan or tagline.
Remember, keep your target public and stakeholders in mind. The language you choose should resonate and motivate them.
Let's look at some common scenarios for themes that support different strategies, and messages that would reach your audience and remain authentic.
Discover content by selecting individual tiles, or using the buttons across the top.
EXAMPLES FOR DIFFERENT SCENARIOS