Brookings Institution four leaf messaging_ may 2009
Prepared for Executive Education at BrookingsSuzanne E. Henry, Four Leaf Public Relations LLCwithEnergy Focus Coaching and Consulting May 2009
Importance of proactive positioning and messaging Getting Ready Questions to ask Intelligence to gather Messages to determine Message Development Recipes for success Exercise
If you are not communicating who you are and what you are doing, someone else will They likely will get it wrong
Why am I thinking about my message? What do I want my audience to do? How much do I know about my audience?
Increasing competition Staff disconnections/lack of communication Falling value proposition(s) Diminishing participation, Invisibility memberships or sales Negative member or Other falling statistics customer feedback “Gut” feeling of being off the mark
Message exercises Target audience description Concept pyramid Good word, bad word list Messages to Develop Positioning statement Elevator pitch Tag line Power bites Take-away statements Organization/Agency boilerplate Value messages
Who are you? CONCEPT What do you do? CONCEPT How do you do it? CONCEPT Why do you do this? CONCEPTWhy would someone get involved with you? CONCEPTWhy else would someone get involved? CONCEPT
Who are you? A non-profit org committed to encouraging tomorrow’s engineers to find alternative energy solutions What do you do? We hook up universities and colleges with experts and current alternative energy engineers (as visiting professors) and provide curriculum on alternative energy topics How do you do it? We identify , fund and place these current experts– for 2 week stints – at a university or college; we also help them develop the curriculum to deliver their expertise to the students Why do you do this? We believe educational institutions can impact and accelerate our ability to develop alternative energy technology; we also believe our program helps produce more scientists and engineers due to the “hot” nature of this topic Why would someone get involved with you?The “visiting professors” get attention for their companies and expertise; the investors get attention for funding an action-program to our energy dilemma Why else would someone get involved? Its “future” orientation is naturally appealing; alternative energy topics are “hot”; the early players will gain fame
Good Words Bad Words Avoid overused words, Identify jargon, such as such as “professional” “solutions” and “excellent” Choose stronger words, Identify words someone such as “formidable” and might use, but you would “catalyst” rather they didn’t
Powerful Messages Are Clear Concise Short Consistent
A mix of authenticity and eloquenceabout something that is relevant to your audience and which sets you apart from the competition And, it’s clear
Good Not So Good CVG is the business CVG is a membership organization group created to created by address the need for entrepreneurs, for educating and entrepreneurs promoting the local entrepreneurial community
Describes who you are Does not necessarily describe what you do Describes who you are in relationship to everything else Refers to the competition without actually addressing it
CVG: An organization that was created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs Ipsos is the largest market research firm in the world, owned and operated by market research professionals The Greenscape Business Alliance advocates the value of properly managed turf and landscapes for our communities The Southern Environmental Law Center is the largest, non profit environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to preserving and protecting the Southeast
How are you unique? different? special? (from other choices) Really… Who says? What feedback have you received to date (from your target audience)? Where do you want to be? What are you trying to do for your audience? Where are you currently? What are you actually making happen?
Tag line: Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Energy Experts Positioning Statement: NewEnergyForce helps our educators focus our future scientists and engineers on tomorrow’s world energy challenges
Short: A 30 second, verbal answer to: Who are you and what do you do? Creates curiosity: Meant to cause your listener to want to learn more Direction: Gives people enough information that they walk away with the right idea about you
The coalition is a national group of organizations whose members are in the business of providing and maintaining greenscapes. We communicate the value of properly managing lawns and landscapes based on years of practical experience and hard scientific research. Greenscapes have significant economic and environmental benefits – cleans the air, cools the cities , traps run-off, filters rainwater, pulls down dust, absorbs carbon (CO2) and generates oxygen…But, only if done right. We, essentially, are dispelling the notion that “brown” is the new “green.” We have reliable information on how to responsibly manage these green investments, and why... Would you like to see some of this data?
1. Burning Problem – What is your audience facing?2. Unique Opportunity – What is happening in the world where you are the answered prayer (or at least a good answer)?3. What You Do – What do you actually provide?4. Benefit(s) – Why should someone choose you over another choice?5. Call to Action – What do you want them to do?