You’ve crafted your messaging platform. You built it on a foundation of research (your market and customers) and exploration (who you really are and what you want to be). It’s designed for usability and impact.
Your messages are woven into your website and sales collateral. You have talking points and a social media guide. You’ve trained frontline staff and others so they can talk about your business confidently and consistently.
But how will you know if the platform is effective? Successful messaging hits all the following marks. If it doesn’t, it’s time to take another swing at it.
Messages are authentic. A key test is whether people in your organization genuinely connect with the messages. For that to happen, messages need to be written in natural, ordinary language, so that your people are comfortable using them and audiences respond to them. Jargon, corporate speak and vague phrasing won’t cut it.
The messaging get used. Reporters use it when writing about the company. Partner organizations use it when they describe you on their website. Employees use it, not just in presentations and formal communications, but also on their LinkedIn and Facebook pages and when they talk about their work with friends.
For one company we work with, the test came with the release of significant company news requiring media outreach and a new partnership. It was gratifying to see the messaging take hold and appear in newspaper articles, customer blog posts and on a partner website. Meanwhile, employees used it on their LinkedIn pages and elsewhere.
The messaging is flexible. Good messaging provides a starting point for any communications task, whether it’s a pithy quote from the CEO in a press release, a boilerplate description of the company, or the brand voice and framework for a report, presentation or website.
A messaging platform should provide messages that are as close to plug-and-play as possible, with examples for as many contexts as makes sense. But messaging shouldn’t be rigid. It should adapt to circumstance and the person using it, the communications vehicle, the audience and other factors.
This is part two of a series of posts on messaging and how to use it. Missed the first one? It’s here. Can’t wait for the rest of the series? For the complete scoop, download our Strategy>Shift guide, Messaging 101: 5 Keys to Unlocking your Verbal Brand.