on/off message

off message

Deviating from or being untrue to the official or agreed upon view, plan, or ideology. We just feel like having a spokesperson with such strong religious convictions is a little off message for our organization. The candidate usually maintains an unflappable demeanor during these interviews, rarely stepping outside of a set of carefully crafted responses, so it was odd to see him going so drastically off message.
See also: message, off

on message

Remaining true to the official or agreed upon view, plan, or ideology. We just feel like our spokesperson has to be on message with our organization's strong religious beliefs. The candidate usually stays on message during these interviews, rarely stepping outside of a set of carefully crafted responses, so it was odd to see him go off on such a random, ranting tangent.
See also: message, on

on/off ˈmessage

(of a politician) stating/not stating the official point of view of their political party: Despite their internal problems, the party maintains a public front of staying on message.
See also: message, off, on

off message

Deviating from a planned set of remarks or positions: The aides worried that the candidate would make a gaffe if he went off message.
See also: message, off

on message

Following a planned set of remarks or positions.
See also: message, on