Rules of news media engagement – avoiding confusion over ‘key messages’. ‘Key messages’ are an important part of the advocacy toolkit. Crisp and clear lines that get your points across in a variety of potentially influencing situations. However, too often confusion arises in using ‘key messages’ when conducting media outreach. Some deem them capable of impact in media outreach too; that the media target public will be hooked by them. Put simply, ‘key messages’ are rarely newsworthy. By definition ‘key messages’ have been crafted for using in multiple contexts and on many occasions. They are unlikely to be new; hence unlikely to be newsworthy. Be wary of using them when preparing your newsy topline in any media outreach. Of course, they can support whatever it is that you have to say – but it is highly infrequent that they provide the rapier that will cut through congested media space. Don’t fall into the trap.