- Build a strong brand.
- Stand out from competitors.
- Connect with different audiences.
- Support business development.
- Explain complicated products or services.
- Communicate efficiently as well as effectively.
- You're undergoing a change in organizational culture or business strategy.
- You're moving into new markets, or markets are shifting.
- People have a hard time explaining what you do and why it matters.
- Partners and other stakeholders—even your own employees—don't describe your company consistently or accurately.
- You're planning a website redesign, new graphic identity, product launch, or similar project, and you want to be sure you get the best results.
- Your messages are inconsistent across channels or product lines.
- A core message answers "What is [your business] and why does it matter?" It quickly conveys your value proposition, and it's also aspirational, reflecting your vision as well as what you are today.
- Secondary messages amplify the core message or speak to specific audiences, such as investors, potential hires, and customers.
- Product and service messages clearly define benefits.
- Talking points will help people answer common questions and stay on message.
- A boilerplate paragraph describes the company and its value proposition; it's for use in press releases, sales materials, and elsewhere.
- An elevator speech answers "What is [your company]?"
- Usage guidelines cover how and when to use the messages in both written and spoken contexts.
- Messages are credible and exact. Good messaging is built on a foundation of research (on your market and customers) and exploration (who you really are and what you want to be). It is both true and accurate.
- Messages feel right. Messages not only are true but also feel true. The key authenticity test is whether they connect with users and audiences alike. For that to happen, messages need to be written in natural, ordinary language, so people are comfortable using them and audiences respond to them. Jargon, corporate-speak, and vague phrasing won't cut it.
- The messaging is flexible. Good messaging provides a starting point for any communications task, whether it's a pithy quote from the CEO in a press release, a company description, or the brand voice for a report, presentation, or website.
- The messaging gets used. Reporters use it. Partner organizations use it. Employees use it, not just in formal communications but also on their LinkedIn and Facebook pages and when they talk about their work with friends. This is the ultimate test.
- Enthusiastic leadership. Driving adoption is not as simple as saying "Do it." Leadership needs to embrace it and use it—internally as well as with external audiences. Otherwise, everyone will see messaging as optional.
- Communicating the benefits. Good messaging solves problems. It explains difficult concepts, clarifies values, and provides good answers to common questions. Let people know how the new messaging will help them talk about their work more comfortably, effectively, and consistently. (They'll even get cut-and-paste options. How great is that?)
- Training. Practical exercises using the messaging in real-life situations are essential. That is especially true for sales teams and customer-facing staff: They're primary message carriers, and they need to feel comfortable carrying your messages. Facilitated role-playing sessions are ideal.
If you need help with your email, web site, video, or other presentation to promote your company, product, or service, please give me a call at 440-519-1500 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
X2 Media can help you target your content and get your message to the audience in a way that it is not only seen and heard, but remembered.
Until next month….remember, “you don’t get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression”. Always make it a good one!
From X2Media I would like to thank you for your time.
John E. Hornyak