Our hope is that by helping organizations communicate better, they will elevate themselves, the issue of homelessness, and the lives of the people they serve.
It is typically a one-sentence or two-sentence expression of how your organization:Meets an important customer need. It’s the message that YOU want to get across, regardless of the subject
BOARD: Your Board wants to help elevate your organization, but DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO COMMUNICATESTAFF: Is unsure about the vision and/or direction of the organization, isn't sure what to communicate in public, or isn't communicating at allCOMMUNITY: isn't sure what distinguishes you or your services for your competitors; We’re doing great work but we’re the best kept secretPotential Donor: Visits your website and cant get a grasp of what you are trying to accomplishMedia: A reporter calls and you are persuaded to talk about issues unprepared, resulting in a poor article.
Messaging improves the relevancy of your organization because it:Provides integration and consistency across communications formats.Simplifies fundraising and other creative marketing.Speeds up draft and final copy content.Saves time and money by minimizing work.Builds stakeholder awareness and preference faster than a haphazard approach.
Communication: to be strategic about objectives:Impression management: To be viewed as an industry leader/expert; stakeholder loyaltyFor a net result: publicityResources: Support such as funding or human resources such as volunteers or staffPromotion:Increase brand awareness: Positioning: To differentiate yourself from the competition.
Differentiating (or major) messages: Communicating important benefits that set you apart from your competition. You should use no more than three or four differentiating messages, and you should base each one on meeting a critical stakeholder need. You can weigh the importance of your differentiating messages, and you should combine them to build your single net impression.Message Points: highlight the service offerings and capabilities that deliver the benefits that you touted in the differentiating message. You should have several message points for each theme.
Meaningful. They must connect with your target audience.They Differentiate you. They must contrast your strengths against your competitionImportant. They must be pertinent and significant to your target audience.Sustainable. They must resonate with stakeholders well into the future.Believable. They must make sense to your target audience
Identify angles for differentiation; there are several reasons and ways to message. Demography: Does your agency serve a unique population?RESOURCES: Do you have resources unavailable to others?GEOGRAPHY: Do you serve an area where others do not?Mission/Vision/Objectives: Is the mission/vision of the agency uniquely qualified/ strong enough to set it apart from the herd?Innovation: Have you found an improved way of offering services, more cost effective?If you are new to messaging or don’t have the time to create Differentiating messages, you can use your organization tag line.
Include messaging in all of your communications, presentations and conversations:KEY; Leverage communications platforms at every appropriate level of the organization.Press Releases/PSA’S/FactsheetsFundraising/Direct mail/RFP’SSocial Networking Sites (Facebook/Twitter) Website, Enewsletters, RSS feeds, Blogs, Text Messaging, Instant messaging, Audio and Video filesProgram materials (client)CONSISTENT VOICE MAIL MESSAGINGSTRESS Consistency
One REALLY easy way to messageGive instructions for Exact specifications (Arial, 8 or 10 pt, Black)OUTLOOK ALREADY DID THE WORK (SHOW SCREEN SHOT)Do not include personal words of wisdom, scripture references, jokes, stories, etc. as part of your email signature. The background of your email should be plain white.
ENLIST VOLUNTEERS TO HELP
Choose what works for you. DO IT WELL OR DON’T DO IT AT ALL!Your target audience and where they get their infoMaintenanceTechnology resourcesStaff resourcesBrainstorming sessions should be developed to identify key messages the organization wants to deliver during that year. Differentiating messages and Message points can change. While they shouldn't change daily, they should certainly be reviewed yearly. Don't steal messages from competitors. The idea is to differentiate your organization from others.Don't conduct messaging in a vacuum. Test your messages on your target audience and other industry experts to ensure that the messages resonate with your stakeholders.
BRAND Basics<br /> Message Architecture<br />Kai Stansberry PR<br />A Public Relations & Design Studio <br />kaistansberryPR.com<br />
Volunteers</li></li></ul><li>ANATOMY OF A MESSAGE<br />DIFFERENTIATING MESSAGES: Important facts that state your position and/or set you apart from your competition. Base each Differentiating message on meeting an audience need. <br />MESSAGE POINTS: Supportive details that deliver the benefits that you used in your Differentiating message. You should have message points for each Differentiating message.<br />
WHAT MAKES A GREAT DIFFERENTIATING MESSAGE? <br />
Size</li></ul>DIFFERENTIAL MESSAGE<br />Morgan State University is a leader in providing access to quality education.<br />MESSAGE POINTS<br /><ul><li> Morgan State University is the country’s largest four-year university system (more than 700,000 students); the most diverse (minority enrollment tops 73 percent); and the most affordable (student fees are the lowest of comparable public universities nationwide).</li></ul>• The Morgan State University graduates 82,000 students each year into Maryland’s workforce, including more Hispanics, Native Americans, and African Americans than all other Maryland universities combined.<br />• The Morgan State University is responsive to the state’s changing demographic needs. Its enrollment of Hispanic students has more than tripled since 1986, African-American enrollment has more than doubled, and Asian-American enrollment has increased by more than 40 percent.<br />EXAMPLE 1 MESSAGING<br />
Size</li></ul>DIFFERENTIAL MESSAGE<br />Until we have a cure, we must ensure that patients with HIV have access to quality and affordable health care to effectively manage their HIV and prevent costly complications. <br />MESSAGE POINTS<br /><ul><li>Adequate and affordable health insurance coverage without pre-existing condition exclusions or penalties
Access to state-of-the-art treatment and technology
Adoption of health information technology with patient privacy protections
Appropriate education and payment for HIV care providers</li></ul>EXAMPLE2 MESSAGING<br />
About 24 Hour FitnessHeadquartered in San Ramon, Calif., 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, an innovative leader in the health and fitness industry, serves more than 3 million members in over 425 clubs worldwide. Founded in 1983 as a one-club operation, 24 Hour Fitness pioneered the concept of making fitness accessible, affordable and a way of life for everyone. <br />EXAMPLE7 PRESS RELEASES<br />
MEDIA CALL <br />An Executive Director gets a call from a local reporter. She is asked about homeless dumping and her response somehow comes back to the need for more shelter beds. She’s asked about anti-urination ordinances and the answer relates to the need for more shelter beds. Public policy is inexplicably linked to, you guessed it, the need for more shelter beds. What’s going on? You guessed it, the Executive Director is using messaging.<br />EXAMPLE8 MEDIA CALLS<br />