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Positioning And Messaging May 2009
 

Positioning And Messaging May 2009

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A presentation to an audience of nonprofit leaders who wanted to learn how to craft more powerful messaging for their organization

A presentation to an audience of nonprofit leaders who wanted to learn how to craft more powerful messaging for their organization

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  • This brings us to some of the challenges. And, I encourage you to think about what you are faced with here. Because this dictates a lot of the processes or exercises you might choose. As you can see competition is listed first because I find frequently this is a big concern for both agencies and nonprofits. Something is taking mindshare away from you, and it is growing. Falling... What was cool yesterday is no longer considered cool today Which of these is the greatest challenge your organization or agency is currently facing?
  • Before we launch into an actual messaging process. There are three questions to ask to put yourself in the right frame of mind. First , questions to ask yourself to get ready for tackling your language choices: SET YOURSELF UP USUALLY PEOPLE COME TO P&M BECAUSE SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. So, the first question is Why am I doing this? Is the competition fiercer? Are sales sluggish? Are customers’ priorities shifting? Are you about to launch a new effort – for nonprofits it could be fundraising. For profits it’s introducing a new product. This will inform what intelligence you need to gather before making language selections . There is a lot of noise out there. It’s not enough to have powerful messages. They must be unique and powerful to your audience who is listening to a lot of other things, too. So, if competition is forcing you to revamp your positioning and messaging, you’ll need to collect what the competitor’s are doing – message wise. Second big question: What do I want my listener to do? Seems obvious, but sometimes we get lost in the creative side of things, we forget to identify the action we want to cause. Do you want people to buy? Do you want them to feel good about you? Do you want them to join? Give money? What? How much do I know about my target audience for this message? I am a big fan of market research and using it at the beginning of messaging and near the end, in testing. Today, we aren’t going to go deeply into market research, but know that if you don’t know your customer well enough, messaging in a vacumn won’t help. Surveys, focus groups, even one on one interviews with current and potential participants or customers -- doing it yourself is better than nothing, etc. You can do these relatively inexpensively these days. Today, let’s focus on messaging that assumes you know who your audience is
  • You want to go through this process at least every 18 months, if not annually. I have an organization that brings me in almost annually – almost ever summer, I come in and we go through this whole process.
  • I pesonally spend 3 weeks at minumum doing this analysis piece.
  • Look for patterns and themes. Look for what is missing. What are you really saying to your audience?? What is your image saying – what words are repeated again and again? Do the same for interviews…
  • Broad view of competition…
  • But, before you create messages, I recommend at least two exercises to go through. GET THE KEY PEOPLE FROM YOUR OFFICE or whoever is on the team of your project AROUND A CONFERENCE ROOM TABLE. One is developing a concept pyramid. This pyramid organizes your thoughts and ideas. It’s mean to simply get down on paper, the general concepts you are trying to get across. It is NOT wordsmithed yet.
  • But, before you create messages, I recommend at least two exercises to go through. GET THE KEY PEOPLE FROM YOUR OFFICE or whoever is on the team of your project AROUND A CONFERENCE ROOM TABLE. One is developing a concept pyramid. This pyramid organizes your thoughts and ideas. It’s mean to simply get down on paper, the general concepts you are trying to get across. It is NOT wordsmithed yet.
  • Look for appropriate energy words --
  • Where do you think most organizations fall down? Or aren’t very good at?
  • People respond to energy more than the facts…you want to be accurate, but you don’t want to drown people in facts so they can’t see the forest for the trees.
  • Answer these questions – lay it aside
  • Once you have this arsenal, you are ready to go to the world… The final tag line, always comes at the end. It’s usually where the board wants to start. Because, let’s face it..It’s fun. It’s like choosing the corporate colors. But, while it feels and sounds fun, it must be grounded in who you are, what you are trying to accomplish and how you want people to FEEL about you .

Positioning And Messaging May 2009 Positioning And Messaging May 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • Who Are You? No, Really… Positioning and Messaging for Greater Influence For The Non Profit Sector Suzanne E. Henry Four Leaf Public Relations LLC May 2009 Clarity. Creativity. Connection. Care.
  • What We’ll Cover Today
    • Importance of proactive positioning and messaging
    • Getting Ready
      • Questions to ask
      • Intelligence to gather
      • Messages to determine
    • Message Development
      • Recipe for success
      • Exercises
      • Outcomes
    • Implementation
  • Who Are You?
    • If you are not communicating who you are, Either someone else will
    • (and, they will likely be wrong)
    • Or
    • Indifference sets in
    • (which is hard to shake)
    • Increasing competition
    • Falling value proposition(s)
    • Invisibility
    • Negative member or customer feedback
    Challenges Addressed by Proactive Messaging
    • Staff disconnections/lack of communication
    • Diminishing participation, memberships or sales
    • Other falling statistics
    • “ Gut” feeling of being off the mark
    • Why am I thinking about my message or my story?
    • What do I want my audience to do?
    • How much do I know about my audience?
    First Questions to Answer
  • Messaging Process
    • Internal Look
      • Current message audit
      • Self perception analysis
    • External Look
      • Competitive message analysis
      • Target audience research
    • Message Development (message summits)
      • Target audience description
      • Concept pyramid
      • Good word, bad word list
      • Positioning statement
      • Elevator pitch/60 second story
      • Tag line
      • Power bites
      • Take-away statements
      • Corporate boilerplate
      • Value messages
    • Parking Lot
    • Testing and Refreshing
  • Messaging Process
    • Internal Look
      • Current message audit
      • Self perception analysis
    • External Look
      • Competitive message analysis
      • Target audience research
    • Message Development (message summits)
      • Target audience description
      • Concept pyramid
      • Good word, bad word list
      • Positioning statement
      • Elevator pitch/ 60 second story
      • Tag line
      • Power bites
      • Take-away statements
      • Corporate boilerplate
      • Value messages
    • Parking Lot
    • Testing and Refreshing
  • Internal Look
      • Current message audit
        • Web site
        • Printed materials, i.e. brochures, annual reports
        • PowerPoint presentations
        • Press coverage
        • E-mail messages
        • More…
      • Self perception analysis
        • Staff
        • Board members
        • Committee chairs
        • Key partners, investors, and other stakeholders
  • External Look
      • Competitive message analysis
        • Who or what can people choose over you?
          • Other nonprofits
          • Other organizations in your interest area
          • Other factors: state of the economy, inertia, personal/family commitments, other
      • Target audience research
        • Market research
  • Messaging Process
    • Internal Look
      • Current message audit
      • Self perception analysis
    • External Look
      • Competitive message analysis
      • Target audience research
    • Message Development (message summits)
      • Target audience description
      • Concept pyramid
      • Good word, bad word list
      • Positioning statement
      • Elevator pitch/60 second story
      • Tag line
      • Power bites
      • Take-away statements
      • Corporate boilerplate
      • Value messages
    • Parking Lot
    • Testing and Refreshing
  • Concept Pyramid Who are you? CONCEPT What do you do? CONCEPT How do you do it? CONCEPT Why do you do this? CONCEPT Why would someone get involved with you? CONCEPT Why else would someone get involved? CONCEPT
  • Concept Pyramid: NewEnergyFocus, Inc. 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-oriented” program around 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 Word – Bad Word List
    • Good Words
    • Avoid overused words, such as “professional” and “excellent”
    • Choose strong words, such as “formidable” and “catalyst”
    • Bad Words
    • Identify jargon, such as “solutions”
    • Identify words someone might use, but you would rather they did not
  • Putting Pen to Paper
    • After you have assessed your landscape (research)
    • - and –
    • After you have identified your focus
    • (exercises)
  • What is a Powerful Message or Story?
  • Key Characteristics of a Powerful Message
    • C ompelling
    • T ruthful/Appropriate
    • D ifferentiating
  • Effectiveness
    • Clear
    • Concise
    • Candy bite-sized
    • Consistent
  • What is a Message that Works?
    • A mix of authenticity and eloquence
    • about something that is relevant to your audience
    • and which sets you apart from the competition
    • And, it’s clear
    • “ The truth is more important than the facts."
    •   - Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Compelling, Truthful, Differentiating In Action
    • Good
    • CVG is the business organization created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs
    • Not So Good
    • CVG is a membership group created to address the need for educating and promoting the Charlottesville entrepreneurial community
  • Key Messages
    • Internal Look
      • Current message audit
      • Self perception analysis
    • External Look
      • Competitive message analysis
      • Target audience research
    • Message Development (message summits)
      • Target audience description
      • Concept pyramid
      • Good word, bad word list
      • Positioning statement
      • Elevator pitch/ 60 second story
      • Tag line
      • Power bites
      • Take-away statements
      • Corporate boilerplate
      • Value messages
    • Parking Lot
    • Testing and Refreshing
  • Yet Another Key Characteristic of a Powerful Message or Story
    • NOUNS
  • Positioning Statement Elevator Pitch
  • Positioning Statement
    • 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
  • Answer These Questions
      • Who do you serve?
        • Who are these people?
        • What is happening to them that makes you an answered prayer?
      • How are you unique?
        • Really…
      • Who says?
        • What feedback have you received to date (from your target audience)?
        • How can you prove your claims?
      • Where do you want to be?
        • What are you trying to make happen?
      • Where are you currently?
        • What are you actually making happen?
  • Positioning Statements
    • Charlottesville Venture Group : A business 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
  • Positioning Statement
      • Who do you serve?
      • How are you unique?
      • Who says?
      • Where do you want to be?
      • Where are you currently?
  • Elevator Pitch/60 Second Story
    • A 60 second, verbal answer to:
    • Who are you
    • and what do you do?
  • Successful Pitch
    • Creates curiosity
      • Causes your listener to question, to want to learn more
    • Provides direction:
      • Gives enough information that your listeners walk away with the right idea about you
  • Elements of the Pitch
      • Tag Line
      • Challenge (facing your target audience)
      • Unique Opportunity (for you)
      • What You Do
      • Benefit(s) (you bring)
      • Call to Action
  • The Pitch
    • Elements:
      • Tag Line
      • Challenge (facing your target audience)
      • Unique Opportunity (for you)
      • What You Do
      • Benefit(s) (you bring)
      • Call to Action
  • Tag Line
    • Shows your energy
    • Addresses the “heart” of the organization
    • Nike: Just do it
    • EarthJustice: Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer
    • VPTC: Technology Advancing Our Community
    • Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation: Your Eye on the Future
  • The Pitch
    • Elements:
      • Tag Line
      • Challenge (facing your target audience)
      • Unique Opportunity (for you)
      • What You Do
      • Benefit(s) (you bring)
      • Call to Action
  • Challenge
    • What is your audience facing?
    • What is keeping them up at night?
  • The Pitch
    • Elements:
      • Tag Line
      • Challenge (facing your target audience)
      • Unique Opportunity (for you)
      • What You Do
      • Benefit(s) (you bring)
      • Call to Action
  • Unique Opportunity
    • Emerging trends
    • Challenges your audience faces (that you help solve)
    • New developments within your organization (that your audience would respond to)
    • What is happening in the world that
    • would have someone say,
    • Wow, I am so glad you are here!
  • The Pitch
    • Elements:
      • Tag Line
      • Challenge (facing your target audience)
      • Unique Opportunity (for you)
      • What You Do
      • Benefit(s) (you bring)
      • Call to Action
  • What You Do
    • Basic description – We make widgets
  • The Pitch
    • Elements:
      • Tag Line
      • Challenge (facing your target audience)
      • Unique Opportunity (for you)
      • What You Do
      • Benefit(s) (you bring)
      • Call to Action
  • Benefits
    • What is your magic wand?
      • We make widgets that never fail
      • What do you do that helps your audience overcome their challenges?
      • What do you do that helps your audience avail themselves of opportunities?
  • Call To Action
    • End with a question
      • Who handles your XYZ?
    • End with a direction
      • Visit our Web site
  • The Foundation’s Pitch
    • The Foundation is a nonprofit organization with an eye on the leasing industry’s future. Thanks to donors , we are able to produce research and publications that give an in-depth, independent look at various industry topics, like the Industry Future Council Report and the State of the Industry Report.
    • Many people think we are part of the Equipment Leasing Association, but in fact we are separate , and we are the only organization 100 percent dedicated to future-focused research to help you with business and strategic planning.
    • Corporate donors of $2,500 or more receive five, free, early-release reports a year. Others will need to pay $200 for Foundation reports.
    • Have you ever donated to the Foundation? (Or, insert other call to action.)
    • Tag Line: Your Eye on the Future
    • 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?
    The Greenscape Business Alliance’s Pitch
  • The Pitch
      • Burning Problem – What is your audience facing?
      • Unique Opportunity – What is happening in the world where you are the answered prayer (or at least a good answer)?
      • What You Do – What do you actually provide?
      • Benefit(s) – Why should someone choose you over another choice?
      • Call to Action – What do you want them to do?
  • Key Messages
    • Internal Look
      • Current message audit
      • Self perception analysis
    • External Look
      • Competitive message analysis
      • Target audience research
    • Message Development (message summits)
      • Target audience description
      • Concept pyramid
      • Good word, bad word list
      • Positioning statement
      • Elevator pitch/60 second story
      • Tag line
      • Power bites
      • Take-away statements
      • Corporate boilerplate
      • Value messages
    • Parking Lot
    • Testing and Refreshing
  • Power Bites
    • These messages constitute the large story
    • Three step process:
      • List the 10 questions you know you’ll be asked
      • Develop 1-2 sentence answers that follow the CTD formula, if possible
      • Include proof points under each power bite
  • Take Away Statements
    • What are the three things you want to leave people with?
    • Must give these 3 messages at least 3 times in a longer conversation
  • Organizational Boilerplate
    • One, factual paragraph: the who, what, when, where, why, and location of your business
    • Not your mission statement
    • Not your positioning statement
    • NOT your elevator pitch
  • Value Messages
    • What three values you would you never compromise?
  • Tag Line
    • Who are you? Really …
  • Outcome: Control
    • Faster and more effective action by members or clients
    • Conviction and clarity for and from team members
    • Viral effect, repeatability
    • Stronger marketing efforts, overall
    • Enhanced reputation and image
    • Buzz
  • Next Steps in Messaging
    • Use it all the time
    • Get buy-in from the folks that matter
    • Reinforce internally and externally
    • Update all collateral
    • Keep current and keep revising
    • Become an evangelist!
  • How Do We Use Messaging?
    • Web site, corporate collateral and giveaways and marketing materials
    • Press materials
    • Letterhead and stationery
    • Speeches and presentations
  • How Else?
    • Media interviews
    • Message at a glance document for staff
    • Networking and social gatherings
    • Interviewing prospective employees
    • PowerPoint templates
    • Receptionist greeting
    • Sales calls
    • Business cards
    • E-mail message signature
    • Voicemail messages
  • Contact Us
    • Suzanne E. Henry
    • President, Four Leaf Public Relations LLC
    • 434-972-7278
    • [email_address]
    • www.FourLeafPR.com
    Clarity. Creativity. Connection. Care.