When you have important messages to communicate, is there a standard way you approach developing mission-critical messages, or do you do it differently every time?
One of the attributes of best-in-class organizations is that message development is strategic, consistent, and responsive to audience needs. In other words, there’s a Strategic Messaging Methodology in place as one of the standard operating practices of the internal communications function.
So, what is a Strategic Messaging Methodology, and what can it do for you, your leaders, and your organization?
Simply put, it’s a process that helps you think strategically about how you develop your story, drive alignment, and tell it powerfully—on everything from your organizational story to communicating change.
What might be clues or cues that you need a strategic messaging methodology? Here are a few:
- You don’t have one set of enterprise-wide messages you’re looking to drive through your mass channels to activate employees
- Your employees face initiative overload, and there’s a need to focus and prioritize messages
- Your leaders all think their initiative deserves the most focus and therefore communications support
- There isn’t alignment on what needs to be said about a specific initiative and how it connects to the organizational strategy
- You need to develop multiple communications, all on the same topic
There’s power in having a process that you use consistently to develop key messages and tell your story. It leads to greater efficiency and even better outcomes. Communications professionals have told us that a message platform saves between 20-30 hours a month in having to re-do materials.
The bottom line is: Every organization should have a Strategic Messaging Methodology.
Getting to a Message Platform
Your deliverable is a message platform on a myriad of topics—enterprise-wide messages, key initiatives, timely announcements, department plans, even people.
When done well, the process allows you to:
- Define and prioritize the audiences: Clarify who the receiver(s) are.
- Identify where key audiences are coming from: Gather their mindset and what their information needs are so your messages can influence and drive appropriate action.
- Agree on compelling messages: Agree on and articulate clear, credible, and compelling messages about the topic.
- Outline actions expected: Let key audiences know what behaviors and actions are expected of them.
- Connect with your audiences: They will recognize that their needs are being met through relevant messages.
- Deliver the messages with confidence: Because you’re well prepared, and have taken a strategic approach, you can feel confident your messages will hit the mark.
- Validate the implementation plan: Identify any gaps on a topic before going “prime time.”
Your strategic message platform then becomes the blueprint – the foundation – for all communication relating to a particular topic, from which you build customized communications to reach your end audience (e.g., employees, clients, customers, etc.) so they’re getting the information in a way that meets their needs.
Tools Are Then Quick and Easy to Create
From Your Platform
Building off of your blueprint, you then can create any tool easily and quickly from the messages in the platform. Tools might include:
- Leader talking points
- Presentations (e.g., Town Hall decks)
- CEO video scripts
- Intranet content
- Email messages
- Website copy
- Blog copy
- Press releases
- Marketing materials
- Direct mail
- And more.
Best yet, you’ll spend half the time you would have spent, if you hadn’t created the message platform. And who couldn’t use more free time in their week?
How could your organization benefit from having a strategic messaging platform in place?
As you consider the benefits of a strategic messaging plan for internal communications, ensure your overall approach to communications is as effective as it can be. Download your free copy of the Reflect, Reimagine and Reboot Communications through the Pandemic eBook today.