The main question of messaging, how to break through the clutter?
Effective communication is the necessity of any relationship, whether it’s between individuals, informal groups, between leaders and the people they govern, and, of course, between companies and their customers.
What often happens, especially in an age where we have a multitude of different communication methods available to us, is that we tend to overcomplicate our audiences’ experience by trying to little or trying to do too much.
Things go south when communication breaks down, so how to avoid it?
We need to take our communication efforts seriously and make sure they are thought through, based on our overall goals and the specific needs of the receivers of our messages.
CROWN – MESSAGES
☛ Messaging is the key to achieving impact with communication.
☛ Key messages create focus, control, and intensity in influencing your target audiences.
Many organizations use:
A central overall message
‘Proof points’ offering backup and/or more detail
You can of course decide what is most appropriate for you, but the important thing is that:
They are aligned with the bigger picture – your vision and purpose
They are aligned among each other
You use them consistently
A key message can be anything you want it to be in terms of content or topic, as you are the master of your universe, but it helps to follow some rules in the creation of it as they are based on many who have failed and learned before you.
Obviously your audience will be your best critic and thankfully in the digital arena it is easy and instant to see if what you are saying is resonating with your audience. So test your content with your target group and adapt it based on their feedback.
Task – Writing your messages
Now the time has come for you to take the wheel and create your own key messages having in mind the checklist provided above.
✔ Gather your team – choose key people in the organization who are very familiar with your values and are really living them on daily bases, but also try to include some more vocal and/or more creative members even if they might not be on the top hierarchically. As well, if you see space and potential, include some newbies – they will bring fresh perspective and that will influence the level of engagement across the organization.
✔ Announce the “key messages” workshop as an important and creative task, not as something that needs to be done just to tick the box. If possible try to do it outside of your offices or if you are staying in, change something in the setting that day. A bunch of balloons might be enough. They will soften the atmosphere and get the creative juices going.
✔ Dedicate enough time and have patience to discuss different opinions.
✔ Stay open minded and not to serious.
✔ Consider the differences and similarities between your target audiences and try to get in their shoes. You can even invite some of your target audience for a short interview like session, either before you start crafting the messages to get their input or when you have something that you are happy with to sense check if it is understandable and impactful.
✔ Although your key messages might be very important and formal you have the freedom to convey them in a light hearted manner that will be much better accepted by your users or donors.
✔ Whatever you do, don’t bore them to death😊