Frequently Asked Questions About The Message Box

How do I know when my Message Box is done?

A Message Box is never really finished; it just keeps evolving to suit your needs. The Message Box principles are easy, but it takes time to develop messages that will work for you and your audiences. Ultimately, you want to pare down your ideas so that each section is a few clear sentences. If you still have a paragraph, keep working to refine your messages, and they will evolve and get better over time. Remember, the "So what?" can vary depending on what each audience cares about. This can influence the problems you identify, the solutions you highlight and the benefits you emphasize. Once you feel you have distilled your message down to its essence, work on taking your message to the next step by making it memorable.

How many Message Boxes do I need to do?

One for each audience! Different audiences have different interests, needs, and values. You'll want to reflect that in your messages.

How long do people typically spend crafting their Message Boxes?

It varies. Crafting an effective Message Box is an iterative process. You might start by with three to five pieces of information that you think are most important in each section, then boil it down. That distillation can come from conversations with your intended audience—what’s resonating? What do you now better understand about their interests and values? Or it could come from peer feedback. Each person's experience is unique and might change depending on how controversial the issue is, the audience they want to address, and what they hope to accomplish by communicating their science.

Want to review the FAQs for each Message Box section? Click below.

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