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iSPIRT Messaging Playbook


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This playbook outlines the primary messages we focus on when we talk about iSPIRT, both in general and when we’re speaking to a specific audience. It contains the language and phrasing we use to share these messages. You can clip text directly from this playbook, but you don’t have to use the exact words. The messaging is a springboard to help you get started – the ideas behind the headlines and web copy you’ll create for various uses.
When writing copy, you’ll convey the same ideas, but will tailor the exact words and tone to each audience and situation. In addition to the messaging, you’ll want to weave in proof points - case studies, data, and testimonials that help to underscore the validity of the message.
This playbook will help us stay consistent and on-message so that people will begin to recognize us, trust us, and share our story with others.

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iSPIRT Messaging Playbook

  1. 1. iSPIRT  Messaging  Playbook   April  2015    
  2. 2. The  issue  is:  how  do  you  engage  the  audience?   And  one  of  the  things  I  talk  to  our   communicators  about  is:  The  outline  is  great;   the  stories  are  great.  But  how  do  you  engage   them?  How  do  you  make  it  feel  like  we  are  on  a   journey,  not  you  are  just  up  there  giving  me   informaGon.  Andy  Stanley     The  best  entrepreneurs  I've  ever  met  are  all   good  communicators.  It's  perhaps  one  of  the   very  few  unifying  factors.  Tim  Ferriss     2  2nd  April  2015  
  3. 3. Messaging  Playbook   This  playbook  outlines  the  primary  messages  we  focus  on  when  we  talk  about   iSPIRT,  both  in  general  and  when  we’re  speaking  to  a  specific  audience.  It   contains  the  language  and  phrasing  we  use  to  share  these  messages.  You  can   clip  text  directly  from  this  playbook,  but  you  don’t  have  to  use  the  exact  words.   The  messaging  is  a  springboard  to  help  you  get  started  –  the  ideas  behind  the   headlines  and  web  copy  you’ll  create  for  various  uses.   When  wriGng  copy,  you’ll  convey  the  same  ideas,  but  will  tailor  the  exact  words   and  tone  to  each  audience  and  situaGon.  In  addiGon  to  the  messaging,  you’ll   want  to  weave  in  proof  points  -­‐  case  studies,  data,  and  tesGmonials  that  help  to   underscore  the  validity  of  the  message.   This  playbook  will  help  us  stay  consistent  and  on-­‐message  so  that  people  will   begin  to  recognize  us,  trust  us,  and  share  our  story  with  others.   3  2nd  April  2015  
  4. 4. Why  We  Exist   Our  Vision   We  envision  a  future  where  India  would  be  a  global  hub  for   new  generaGon  soUware  products,  a  Product  NaGon.  And  our   SoUware  Product  Industry  will  create  a  mulGplier  impact  on   the  economy  in  terms  of  growth,  employment,  social   transformaGon,  consumpGon  and  investment.     Our  Mission   To  strengthen  the  soUware  products  culture  and  ecosystem   by  improving  playbooks,  craUing  beXer  polices  and  creaGng   market  catalysts.   4  2nd  April  2015  
  5. 5. Our  Primary  Audience:  Product   Entrepreneurs   What  they  need  and  how  we  meet  their  needs:     #1   They  need  to  know  that  they  are  not  alone.  We  convene  product  entrepreneurs  into  a     trusted  community  where  they  can  have  crucial  conversaGons  about  their  issues  and   playbooks.     We  organize    small,  inGmate  and  intense  experienGal  learning  sessions  like  Playbook   Roundtables  and  #PNCamp  that  deliver  transformaGve  value.       #2   They  need  role  models  -­‐  peers,  mentors,  and  other  product  entrepreneurs  who  have   built  or  are  building  great  companies.   We  recognize  the  achievements  of  product  entrepreneurs  whose  stories  we  hope  will  inspire     #3   They  need  market  catalysts  to  grow  their  business  .  We  provide  deep  connecGons  to  Global   CIOs,  SMB  Buyers  and  Corporate  Development  groups.   5  2nd  April  2015  
  6. 6. Who  We  Are   140  CHARACTERS   iSPIRT  connects  and  guides  soUware  product  entrepreneurs  and  catalyzes  business   growth.  It’s  an  enabler  of  a  stronger  ecosystem.       250  CHARACTERS   iSPIRT  FoundaGon  connects  and  guides  soUware  product  entrepreneurs  and    catalyzes   business  growth.  It’s  an  enabler  of  a  stronger  ecosystem.  We  are  a  not-­‐for-­‐profit   industry  think-­‐tank  founded  by  key  parGcipants  of  the  Indian  soUware  product   industry.     500  CHARACTERS   iSPIRT  FoundaGon  connects  and  guides  soUware  product  entrepreneurs  and    catalyzes   business  growth.  It’s  an  enabler  of  a  stronger  ecosystem.  We  encourage  buyers  to   improve  performance  by  leveraging  soUware  products  effecGvely.  We  advise  policy   makers  on  intervenGons  that  can  set  the  industry  on  a  higher  growth  trajectory.  We   are  a  not-­‐for-­‐profit  industry  think-­‐tank  founded  by  key  parGcipants  and  proponents  of   the  Indian  soUware  product  industry.     6  2nd  April  2015  
  7. 7. Our  Offerings   These  are  the  three  areas  we  focus  on  in  our  messaging,  though  we  use  different  words  when  we   talk  to  people  about  them.         7  2nd  April  2015  
  8. 8. “We”  to  “You”   The  “we”  point  of  view     There  are  Gmes  when  we  talk  about  ourselves,  using  our  own  point  of  view  to  discuss  who  we  are  and   what  we  do.     For  instance:  (We  provide)  is  implied  in  front  of  a  value  prop  like  “Market  Catalysts”.  That  POV  works   for  our  bios,  About  Us  secGons  of  our  website,  and  other  places.     The  “you”  point  of  view     Using  the  “we”  POV  too  much  is  like  the  bore  at  a  party  who  makes  everything  about  himself.     Whenever  possible,  we  want  to  shiU  from  “we”  to  “you.”     ShiUing  to  “you”  requires  that  we  know  what  the  audience  needs,  and  how  we  can  help.  When  we   know  what  they  need,  we  can  craU  language  that  speaks  from  their  perspecGve.     For  instance:  (You  can)  is  implied  in  front  of  a  value  prop  like  “Find  your  tribe.”   8  2nd  April  2015  
  9. 9. Messaging  Pillars  in  “We”  terms   Playbooks   Nurture   We  connect  product   entrepreneurs  with  each   and  advance  the   effecGveness  of  their   playbooks     Market   Catalysts   Amplify   We  enrich  the   ecosystem  that  enables   business  success  by   providing  deep   connecGons  to  buyers   Policy   Advocate   We  provide  perspecGve   and  unbiased  industry   data  to  policy  makers  to   improve  the    improve   growth  trajectory   9  2nd  April  2015  
  10. 10. Messaging  Pillars  in  “You”  terms   Playbooks   Find  Your   Tribe   You  are  not  alone.  iSPIRT   brings  product   entrepreneurs  together   in  person  and  online  to   improve  your  playbooks     Market   Catalysts   Get     market   help   Grow  your  business.   iSPIRT  offers  deep   connecGons  to  Global   CIOs,  SMB  Buyers  and   Corp  Dev  Groups   Policy   Map  the   future   Explore  full  potenGal  of   India.  iSPIRT  provides     insights  and  perspecGve   to  craU  the  best   economic  environment   10  2nd  April  2015  
  11. 11. Messaging  Example   Playbooks   Find  Your  Tribe   You  are  not  alone.  iSPIRT  brings   product  entrepreneurs   together  in  person  and  online   to  improve  your  playbooks     -­‐  Become  part  of  Product   NaGon  online  community   -­‐  AXend  Playbook  Roundtable   and  #PNCamp   Market   Catalysts   Get    market   help   Grow  your  business.  iSPIRT   offers  deep  connecGons  to   Global  CIOs,  SMB  Buyers  and   Corp  Dev  Groups   -­‐  Apply  to  become  part  of  M&A   Connect  or  InTech50   -­‐  Engage  with  SAI  and   parGcipate  in  CeBIT   Policy   Map  the  future   Explore  full  potenGal  of  India.   iSPIRT  provides    insights  and   perspecGve  to  craU  the  best   economic  environment   -­‐  Leverage  our  Product  Industry   Monitor  reports     -­‐  Act  on  strategic  and   operaGonal  recommendaGons   11  2nd  April  2015  
  12. 12. Guidelines  –  Voice  and  Tone   A  consistent  voice  helps  people  connect  with  us.     Our  voice  is  how  we  sound  whenever  we  communicate.  It  gives  our  audiences  a  recognizable   way  to  idenGfy  us.  We  arrive  at  our  voice  by  first  understanding  our  brand  personality.  We  ask   ourselves:  what  if  our  brand  was  a  person?  From  that  set  of  personality  traits,  we  arrive  at  a  list   of  words  that  describe  what  we  sound  like.     Our  voice  isn’t  a  set  of  constraints,  but  rather  a  guide  to  help  us  stay  consistent.  We  can  make   adjustments  as  necessary  to  fit  the  mode  and  style  of  different  communicaGons  pieces.     If  voice  is  our  personality,  tone  is  our  aOtude.     Tone  adds  context  to  what  we  are  saying.  While  our  voice  doesn’t  change,  our  tone  does  shiU   depending  on  circumstances.  For  instance,  the  tone  we  use  in  a  welcome  leXer  will  be  different   than  the  tone  we  use  in  a  privacy  or  TOS  statement,  but  our  voice  will  remain  the  same.     Knowing  when  and  how  to  change  our  tone  is  about  empathy.  When  we  consider  how  our   audience  feels  before  we  write,  we  can  beXer  adjust  our  tone  for  a  variety  of  situaGons.   12  2nd  April  2015  
  13. 13. Our  Voice   EnthusiasPc.  We  are  excited  about  the  work  we’re  doing,  and  our  voice  shows  it.  We  use  crisp,   upbeat  language,  choosing  strong  words  in  place  of  exclamaGon  points  to  get  our  point  across.     Credible.  We  know  what  we’re  talking  about,  and  the  claims  we  make  are  true.  Our  voice  is   authoritaGve  and  confident,  but  we  don’t  over-­‐explain  or  obscure  our  ideas  with  minuGa.     Approachable.  We  use  conversaGonal  language  and  simple  sentence  construcGon,  because  we   want  to  be  understood  by  everyone.     OpPmisPc.  Our  voice  is  posiGve  and  inspiring.  We  don’t  harp  or  finger-­‐wag  or  scold.  We  want   people  to  feel  great  when  they  hear  from  us,  but  we  also  don’t  gloss  over  uncomfortable  truths.     Open-­‐minded.  We  are  deeply  commiXed  to  our  cause,  yet  we  don’t  offer  prescripGons  -­‐  we  look   for  soluGons.  Our  voice  reflects  that  openness  and  curiosity.     Gandhigiri.  We  pay  forward  to  turn  our  dreams  for  soUware  product  industry  in  India  into  reality.   We  seek  to  bring  out  the  best  in  people.   13  2nd  April  2015  
  14. 14. Do’s   Do  have  fun  with  communicaPon.  We  want  people  to  look  forward  to  hearing  from  us.  Use   language  that’s  fresh  and  expressive  to  bring  our  mission  to  life.     Do  speak  candidly.  SomeGmes  we  have  to  talk  about  uncomfortable  things,  like  the  lack  of   meaningful  innovaGon  in  the  IT  services  industry.  It’s  okay  to  address  these  topics  directly.  When   possible,  point  to  a  soluGon.     Do  use  the  acPve  voice.  We  want  our  message  to  be  clear  and  direct.  Always  use  the  acGve  voice   to  make  statements  that  are  engaging  and  easy  to  understand.     Do  reference  real  stories  whenever  possible.  Our  mission  is  authenGc,  and  the  stories  around  it   should  be,  too.  Referencing  real  stories  will  inspire  and  empower  the  people  we  want  to  reach.     Do  address  the  reader  personally.  We  want  to  make  our  audiences  feel  like  we’re  all  in  this   together.  Use  the  words  “you”  and  “we”  as  if  you’re  having  a  one-­‐on-­‐one  conversaGon  with  your   reader.     Do  be  concise.  Make  every  word  count.  Use  adverbs  sparingly  -­‐  try  to  find  one  word  that   expresses  your  meaning,  without  extra  qualificaGon.  Give  yourself  more  Gme  to  write  less.   14  2nd  April  2015  
  15. 15. Don’ts   Don’t  use  jargon  and  buzzwords.  We  want  our  message  to  be  approachable  and  free  of   confusion.  Buzzwords  and  jargon  oUen  have  unclear  meanings.     Don’t  use  colloquial  words  and  phrases.  Phrases  that  have  a  disGnct  industry  flavor  or  that   originated  in  our  geek  culture  might  be  hard  to  translate.     Don’t  exclude  people  from  outside  India.  We  someGmes  refer  to  trends  or  situaGons  that  are   India  based,  but  we  should  be  careful  not  to  exclude  those  outside.       Don’t  guilt  people  into  trying  to  do  the  “right”  thing.  Everyone  has  a  different  version  of  “right.”   Respect  the  differences  in  everyone,  and  keep  our  messages  free  of  judgment.     Don’t  make  it  all  about  us.  Always  think  of  the  audience  –  what’s  in  it  for  them?  Be  careful  not  to   start  too  many  sentences  with  “We...”,  which  can  give  the  impression  that  we’re  always  talking   about  ourselves.     Don’t  use  unaYributed  quotes.  Anonymous  quotes  don’t  have  any  power  -­‐  without  a  name   behind  them,  they  feel  false  and  inauthenGc.  If  we  can’t  get  aXribuGon,  we  shouldn’t  use  it.   15  2nd  April  2015  
  16. 16. Our  job  is  to  make  change.  Our  job  is  to  connect   to  people,  to  interact  with  them  in  a  way  that   leaves  them  beXer  than  we  found  them,  more   able  to  get  where  they’d  like  to  go.  Every  Gme   we  waste  that  opportunity,  every  page  or   sentence  that  doesn’t  do  enough  to  advance  the   cause  is  waste.  Seth  Godin,  Linchpin   16  2nd  April  2015