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Posted on October 22, 2015 | Angela Shugarts
One of the questions we often get when launching into a new relationship with a client is: “where do we start?” or “what’s next?” Our answer, typically, is messaging. A formal document that includes the business’s values, goals, differentiators, etc., that serves as a foundation for all future communication efforts.
Messaging helps your staff and customers talk about your company in the same way, establishing consistency. It influences what is written on your collateral, on your website and even what you say in a media interview. Before launching any communication initiative, our team at Philosophy Communication recommends performing a messaging audit.
A messaging audit is a great way to:
- Establish key messages that encompass the business’ values and goals
- Identify differentiators and competitors
- Analyze target audience’s needs
- Talk about the company in a consistent manner across multiple communication channels
Whether you decide to conduct a messaging audit yourself or hire an outside firm to do it for you, there are several things you want to address:
- Articulate verbally and in written form at least three business values
- Define your market position—a one to two sentence “elevator pitch” that defines who you are, what you do, and why your business matters to your target audiences
- Identify your competitors and assess their credibility
- Articulate your vision (where you want to be, goals)
- Articulate your mission (why are you in business, big picture)
- Unique selling proposition (the factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition)
- Define at least one problem statement (what is one problem that your business solves?)
- Define at least one solution statement (how does your business solve that problem?)
Keep in mind that messaging can be challenging for business owners do to themselves. It is easy to get caught up in the minute details of your business and forget the bigger picture of why you started your business in the first place. This perspective is critical to having a solid, strong messaging document that permeates into every subsequent communication effort launched.
Sometimes, it helps to have an outside perspective drive the conversation and get at the heart of what makes your business tick. We are happy to help develop your business’s key messages in a way that is effective and memorable. Give us a call at 303-394-2366 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our unique approach and agency difference.
- Angela Shugarts