In the case of advertising and public relations messages the target audience and the message’s goals will be critical to figuring out the appropriate topic angle.
If, for example, the railroad’s communication concern is how to expand the appeal of train travel to people not currently using trains, the questions you might want to ask (and answer) include:
What methods of transportation are travelers currently choosing other than trains?
What are the demographics of current train travelers (and what demographics might be ones to be targeted?)
- What reasons do travelers give for their choosing particular traveling modes?
If, on the other hand, the communications’ goal is to gain support in the legislature for an expanded train system, key questions that maybe need answers include:
What are the environmental advantages of train travel over other transportation modes?
How might an expanded rail system benefit local economies (jobs, commuter travel, health of rural communities?)
Once again, the topic is broadly train travel, but the possible angles to the topic and the questions that must be examined become increasingly specific (and manageable) with some brainstorming.