The concept of message design and delivery is often a hot topic when critical scholars discuss what it means and how, in some cases, it can translate in propaganda. Often, messaging is disparaged a “spin” and communication practitioners as “spin doctors.” This chapter deals with those issues by arguing the importance of an ethical approach to crafting messages. It illustrates the roles of properly planned and written informative and persuasive messages in their roles of building understanding and convincing people to act.

Messages are defined as the information clients want target publics to know and understand and that which is needed to help change a situation. Messages are linked to communication tools. The chapter stresses the need for practitioners to write clearly and precisely.

While controlling messages is essential in strategic communication, it is impossible to ensure that they are controlled: messages are either mediated by others or interpreted in different ways by receivers.

The chapter includes theoretical concepts that help to explain the role of messages, how they should be written and how they might be interpreted by target publics.

After reading this chapter, students should understand the role of informative and persuasive messages in a communication strategy and how to write and use them in an ethical way.