If it feels like there’s more chaos than consistency with your external communications, chances are your prospective customers are confused about who you are, what you do and why you’re awesome.
How can you streamline your daily operations, create a bigger impact and build trust with clients? With consistent key messaging.
Below are some tips for telling a great story using consistent key messaging.
*First things first — have a plan to lean on before jumping into the nitty-gritty: know who you are, know who your audience is and what resonates with them, and then build a plan and brand standards that ensure your messages land with the right people. There are sophisticated firms like TSN Communications that can help you at any step along the way. See the cheat sheet at the bottom of this post.
Now, let’s say you’ve done all that hard work. You have a stellar communications plan ready to deploy … What should you do next?
Be ruthless about your agreed-upon strategies.
For every project or major initiative, make sure the entire team understands how that activity rolls up to the larger picture and which message(s) it’s connected to. In fact, each initiative should have a rollout plan that includes the following: goal, audience, timeline and key message connected to the project. This may seem like busywork, but it will help keep your team focused on the strategies that drive the results you want.
Develop an editorial calendar with your key messages in mind.
This will help you see the big picture and show you how and when your audience(s) will hear from you. This should include all of the following from every department: email series, social media campaigns (organic and paid), traditional media engagement, one-pagers or white papers, blog posts and events.
Recycle, reuse, repeat.
Have an astonishing piece of data or an incredible case study? Re-package that piece of gold into as many assets as possible: press release, blog post, one-pagers, social media campaigns, podcasts or events. In fact, get the most out of your work by creating cheat sheets and toolkits with key talking points, sample social media posts and infographics for your key stakeholders to use (and reuse!) so you aren’t doing the work alone.
No spaghetti on the wall.
It’s good to take chances and try new things, but it’s also good to know what works and what doesn’t. Remember those rollout plans we discussed above? Always schedule an internal post-campaign debrief to see if you hit your goal and plan for the next initiative accordingly.
Hone your voice.
This can look different for every organization, but making sure that all of your assets have a similar tone and rhythm lend credibility to your brand and create a smoother experience for your audience. Help your team understand the style and character of your brand or designate one or two people to review outgoing communications.
Cheatsheet for how to develop or refresh a communications plan:
- Identify your value proposition and the key messages that will help your audience understand why your company or product is so great. If you think your existing messaging might need a refresh, it’s worth contracting with a firm like TSN Communications to help provide research-backed insight into what moves people.
- Understand your audience(s), and gain insight into how they like to engage with you. Get as specific as understanding which media outlets they trust, or who they’re willing to open an email from and at what time of day. Everything from focus groups to polling to anecdotal insight from your sales team can provide good data here. Again, a sophisticated firm can provide the expertise you need to refine audience engagement.
- Create a plan that outlines measurable strategies to get the right messages in the right hands, using the right messengers. Then, stick to it (see above!).