Organizations without clear messaging and without a strategic communications plan are like the Costa Concordia—they run aground. Rarely is there a tragic loss of life, as there was with the Mediterranean cruise liner. But there most certainly can be severe consequences: reputational damage at worst and apathy among customers and donors at best. Yet so many companies and organizations don’t want to take the time to invest in good messaging and communications. Somehow they think it will happen by magic.
Messaging and communications work is hard. It’s much easier simply to say that we will tweet four times a day, or send out press releases when our sales team signs a new client or every time our CEO blinks. It’s much harder to convey value and meaning.
How can you get your company and organization on a better communications course?
The answer lies in a response to one question: How is our work creating benefit for others?
That’s it. It’s a simple question that everyone in your organization should be expected to answer every day—from the receptionist to the CEO and everyone in between. If I am the receptionist, how does the way I greet people, answer the phone, or complete my other tasks help the company? If I am the CEO, I should continually ask how we create value for our customers, our users, our clients, our donors, and/or our shareholders. If I am the marketing director, I should be asking how to create new opportunities for our products and services to get into the hands of new customers, and how to encourage those who already know us to buy more or engage more of our services?
Everyone in your firm or organization should have a great answer to this question. With that well in hand, you’ll also have a great start to identifying the core of your messaging and all your communications going forward.