Message development and testing


Develop, hone and test your messages with our journalist tutors.


All our tutors sign non-disclosure agreements.


Face to face or online training to meet your needs and timescales.


Craft messages that really hit home with your targeted audiences.


Test your messages before your campaign is launched.

Message Development and Testing

Fantastic. Should also be used in preparation for specific client engagements, media engagements, etc. Trainer and facility are brilliant.

David H 19th June 2024

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I would definitely recommend.

Claire M 19th June 2024

see more reviews

Helpful, focused and professional. I am feeling more confident now

Lucy F 19th June 2024

see more reviews

It is short , general, challenging to unify ideas comming from different places.

To do it deeply , specific to regions context

Fadoua B 19th June 2024

see more reviews

Really succinct and helpful - needs to be followed up with a lot of consistent practice

Varun A 19th June 2024

see more reviews

I really enjoyed the course. It was great to have real live sim like experiences.

Michael P 18th June 2024

see more reviews

Have you got the right message?

Whether you have a new product you are about to launch, have made a crucial scientific discovery, or are making news for negative reasons, you only have one chance to create the right message.

But how can you be confident it will work? This is where we come in.

We know delivering the right message at the right time to the right audience is crucial.

And that the wrong message to the wrong people, or even the right message to the wrong people, goes nowhere.

Every word and subtle nuance can make a difference, whether talking to the media, delivering a crucial presentation, managing a crisis, writing promotional material, or speaking at a parliamentary hearing or public inquiry.

Our message development training courses help organisations develop their narrative, tell their story better, and deliver clear, credible and effective messages.

We help them craft messages that resonate with the target audience and deliver the right impact. It can include anything from positive external messages to managing a complex internal challenge, such as announcing redundancies or large restructuring projects.

Our training team of working journalists know what works well, whether you are trying to communicate something positive or complex, deliver some bad news or are hoping to inspire.

And if you think you already have effective brand messages in place, our training team can put them to the test. They know what is credible, what will inspire and what will stand out.

What makes our message development and testing sessions different?

It is all about the people who will deliver your training.

Who better to help you create your messages and research whether they will work than current working journalists?

They are communications experts, and their insights are invaluable. They know the factors that make brand messages grab the attention of a target audience. And they understand the language and examples that make them memorable. They craft stories and messages every day.

We have more than 40 journalists to choose from, most of whom you will recognise from television, radio and newspapers.

They have worked with organisations across all sectors and industries and helped them develop, test and refine messages. And tell better stories.

We have been helping our clients develop their messages and overcome communications challenges for the past 40 years. Our customers include 40 of the FTSE 100 public relations companies, charities, public sector organisations and businesses of all sizes.

Who is this training for?

Every message development and message testing session is different.

And who comes along to the training varies. But we typically work with:

  • Leadership teams
  • PR and communications professionals
  • Marketing teams
  • Customer communication teams
  • Internal communication teams
  • Campaign teams

What does a message development and testing course cover?

Every session is bespoke and will depend on your needs, what your brand is trying to achieve and who its target audience is.

So, we'll spend time getting to know you and your business. But a messaging session could include:

  • Understanding your key audiences
  • The secrets and science to creating media-friendly messages
  • The importance of emotion in messaging
  • The role of curiosity and novelty in key messages
  • How to deliver clear brand customer messages
  • The language that resonates with your customers
  • The ‘illusion of truth’ and why message repetition matters
  • How trust impacts your key message
  • How to support business messages with human examples and personal anecdotes
  • Trusting spokespeople to put messages in their own language
  • Practising media interviews, presentations and writing exercises to help you land your messages
  • How to research and evaluate the success of your brand messages.


What are my message development and testing course options?

A one-size-fits-all approach to developing messaging is not effective.

All our courses are tailored to provide you the best impact and value.

We will work with you to develop a session that meets your needs, knowledge and requirements and the aims of your campaign. How we deliver that course is entirely up to you.

This remains the most popular training option for our clients. People love the opportunity to test skills, confidence and messages in broadcast-quality studios. That could be at our office in Reading, one of our studios in London or across the country.

Our face-to-face, in-person training can also be carried out at your offices or any hired room.
Here's our guide to helping you choose the right location for your face-to-face training.

Wherever it takes place, your delegates can look forward to personal coaching and feedback, together with seamless playbacks of their media interviews, ensuring they achieve their brand messaging goals.

Our online option allows your company to access all the brilliant message development and message testing we provide in-person from anywhere in the world.

And it has been an invaluable option during lockdowns, allowing organisations to continue to develop and create effective messages even though they could not meet face-to-face.

The sessions are typically shorter, with more breaks. But they still include everything our clients expect from our face-to-face training, with practical sessions recorded for playback and coaching. And full-written feedback after the course.

The training is delivered by current working journalists and other communications experts with professional video, audio and lighting setups and high-speed internet. And they are supported by our in-house technical team to ensure the training isn’t interrupted by annoying glitches.

Yes. Message development and testing do not have to be done together.

If you feel you already have your message in place, we can help you test how it stands up to scrutiny before you kick off your campaign, announcement or media work.

After all, you only get one chance to make the right first impression.

Our current working journalist tutors, who work under strict non-disclosure agreements, have tested thousands of messages. So they are ideally placed to put your brand message to the test before it goes out to a wider audience.

They will look at its clarity, whether it inspires, sparks curiosity and is emotionally engaging.

If you have partly developed your messaging, they can work with you to explore your ideas further, hone your thoughts and test the finished article.

Depending on what you need us to cover, we can also incorporate aspects of our media training to look at how your brand spokespeople deliver your message in interviews and presentations and how they can put it into their language.

Message testing can be run as a separate training day or alongside a message development session. The choice is up to you.

Different messages work for different audiences.

You may have a message that works brilliantly internally. But the same language might not resonate when delivered to your customers.

Are you describing your brand, products, services, campaigns and initiatives in the best way? Will that message you have developed resonate?

Our expert journalists are communications experts. They are ideally placed to research what you are saying, how you are saying it, and who you are saying it to. We’ll help your company discover:

  • What messages are working (and why)
  • How they come across to different audiences
  • How to tweak them to increase impact and credibility
  • How best to support them with relevant examples and anecdotes
  • How to evaluate their success

Trained spokespeople are crucial if you are going to work with the media.
But you don’t necessarily need media training before a message development and testing session.

Every client and course is different. Sometimes we work with company press offices, internal comms teams and PR advisors to refine messaging ahead of specific campaigns and announcements.

They may ask us to hold a separate media training session with their spokespeople once they are confident the messaging is right and their communication plan includes targeting the media.

If spokespeople have a good understanding of the media, we can build practice interviews into the training and testing.

But not all the messaging we help our clients with is for the media. If we are preparing messages for an internal audience, for example, we may include elements of our presentations skills training in the programme.

You'll learn how to create key messages that resonate with your audience, whether that is customers, stakeholders or internal colleagues.

And with our message testing, you'll gain the confidence of knowing your brand messages work before you communicate and go to market with them.

More than a training day

We believe in the value and importance of continual learning.

As well as detailed feedback and access to training videos after the sessions, you also have the option to sign up to our blogs.

These regularly discuss media training and messaging issues and insights. Posts have included exploring the benefits of messaging house and advice from a cognitive neuroscientist and business psychologist on making messages stand out.


What others say about our training

The Media First team are always so helpful and accommodating. They take pride in fully understanding individual and organisational needs and make sure that the intervention they recommend and supply meets those needs. I would have no hesitation in recommending Media First.

— Scott Pawsey, Senior Learning and Development Officer at The Royal British Legion

Like the sound of our message development and message testing training?

Want to join the growing list of organisations that trust us to improve their brand messaging?

Speak to one of our account managers. They’ll answer your questions.

And they will discuss all our message development and message testing options in more detail and help you start to build the right programme for your company.

What our learners think

Fantastic. Should also be used in preparation for specific client engagements, media engagements, etc. Trainer and facility are brilliant.

David H
19th June 2024

I would definitely recommend.

Claire M
19th June 2024

Helpful, focused and professional. I am feeling more confident now

Lucy F
19th June 2024

It is short , general, challenging to unify ideas comming from different places.

To do it deeply , specific to regions context

Fadoua B
19th June 2024

Really succinct and helpful - needs to be followed up with a lot of consistent practice

Varun A
19th June 2024

I really enjoyed the course. It was great to have real live sim like experiences.

Michael P
18th June 2024

Our Clients

We have a huge amount of experience in over 40 different sectors such as automotive, charity, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, travel and many more. Here is a small selection of our clients.


Paul Brennan

Paul has more than twenty years' experience as a reporter, producer and presenter cross regional and network newsrooms for the BBC, ITV and Five News.

Jane Deith

A familiar face on Channel 4 News and also a Radio 4 presenter. Jane has a clear understanding of what the audience wants and how to help spokespeople deliver it.

Our Training Team

Our courses are delivered by current working journalists, along with PR and communications professionals - all of whom are expert and experienced trainers.

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