By Melanie Johnson – Account Director, Eskenzi PR
Creating a messaging document is one of those vital processes that every company should go through, but still many organisations don’t get it right, or neglect to make sure they have a fully comprehensive document in place before launching a product/solution, creating a campaign or even kick-starting a company. In fact, a messaging document should be the ‘go-to’ document for all employees, stakeholders and spokespeople to learn and understand the company’s ethos, how it should be portrayed and what its key objectives/goals are. It should also include who the company is targeting, how to target them and the challenges and issues they face, plus how the company can help them with those problems.
Getting your messaging right means it will lie at the heart of all communications including press releases, interviews, analyst briefings, demonstrations, blogs and presentations. You can usually tell when an organisation has invested time in its messaging, because everything they do fits into an overall ‘umbrella’ vision or statement.
Here are a few tips on getting that messaging right:
- Make sure statements are clear, understandable and not too long. Try and explain what the company or product does in one sentence or 50 words maximum if you really want a challenge.
- Understand who your customers are, and make sure the messaging fits with the challenges they face and what their goals are.
- Don’t make it over complicated by using what you think are intelligent words. Use easy to understand language and avoid using the latest ‘buzz’ words (they date extremely quickly).
- Following on from the point above, never use words like innovative, breakthrough, disruptive and revolutionary. If your company/product genuinely is a ‘game changer’ it will speak for itself.
- Be careful about announcing your company as the ‘fastest growing’ or ‘most used’ solution in a specific market. If you make bold statements, make sure you can back it up.
- Refrain from using marketing or sales speak, save this for the advertising campaign.
- Think about tailoring key messages to specific markets the organisation is targeting.
- Think about how your messaging can into all planned activity, from customer days, media tours to employee events.
It is a strong advantage for any company whose spokespeople and employees can clearly describe what the business does and its goals. It does take a lot of involvement, but if you can invest the time and create a document that everyone buys into, you’ll see the benefits almost immediately across all communications.