powerful message

How to gain clarity, internal alignment on what you’re saying.

“Confusion repels, clarity attracts,” is a phrase I often hear from Kary Oberbrunner, author, coach and speaker.

I know it’s not easy. I’ve been a communicator for more than 20 years and I find myself challenged with this question whether it’s for me or a client – what are we saying with clarity?

 

We’re talking about the powerful message we want to send.

A message is simple, clear, concise, and is the starting point and guide for communications consistency for any organization. Key messages help guide consistent marketing communication and development of campaigns and events, advertising, public relations, brochures and marketing collateral, speeches, website copy, blog posts, press releases, social media, and every other way an organization communicates with its audiences (internally and externally), customers and stakeholders.

The goal of having simple, clear and concise key messages is to have internal alignment so when your organization communicates externally your audiences 1) have clarity, 2) take note, 3) remember and understand, and 4) take positive action. Here are several steps to follow to ensure your messages hit the mark with your audiences.

 

Step 1: Ask these questions

These questions can be asked in a leadership meeting, via survey, phone calls, or in a way that will provide the most valuable feedback.

 

  • What do we want to communicate? (TIP: What problem, frustration, opportunity exists?)
  • Why do we want to communicate it? (TIP: Does it support your purpose, why you do what you do?)
  • Who needs to hear it? (all internal and external audiences)
  • Why do they need to hear it? (TIP: make it about them; fight the urge to make it all about your organization)
  • What do we want to accomplish by communicating with them? (What’s the positive action?)
  • What information, data/statistics do we need to support what we want to communicate?

 

Step 2: Identify common themes and benefits

These are the most important themes/ideas/messages. There may be other great ideas that support one of the three most important. If so, earmark these ideas for step 4 as potential supporting messages.

 

Step 3: Draft the top three core messages

Write out the top three messages. Think problem, solution, benefit.

 

Step 4: Refinement

Review each message and ask, can this be said in less than 50 words? Try to refine each message further into simpler (no jargon) terms without being simplistic.

 

Step 5: Identify 3-5 supporting points for each message

Look at the feedback and ideas that were developed in Step 2. Which ideas and points support one of the three core messages that have been developed? What additional online/offline research can be conducted to support the core messages?

 

Step 6: Fill in the message map

Use this map to frame your powerful message and supporting points.

 

Key message 1

(touches on the problem/frustration)

Key message 2

(touches on the solution)

Key message 3

(touches on the benefits)

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

·        Supporting message

 

Step 7: Test and refine further www.joelkessel.com

Get it out there. Start talking and sharing your messages via conversations, through social media; see what sticks and resonates with people. The feedback will help you further refine and hone in on even clearer messages.

Note: Key messages aren’t a “check off the box” activity. Messages are always evolving. Customers and audiences are always growing. Therefore, our powerful message must continue to evolve and align with those we’re trying to reach and engage.

 

How else are you creating and clarifying your message? Click on one of the social media icons below and let us know and visit www.joelkessel.com

 

joelkessel
Joel Kessel is a speaker, advisor and writer of communications. He helps organizations and those in leadership and executive positions gain clarity and confidence on how to strategically and authentically communicate and deliver their message so they can have a larger impact on the people they serve. Read more from Joel’s blog at www.joelkessel.com/