Owning Your Message
By Nina Kult, APR, CGPR Account Supervisor
As a business owner, no one knows your business better than you do. You are the expert of your products, your service, your brand and culture.
But have you ever struggled to find the right words when trying to tell your story? Or do you have trouble organizing your thoughts when asked about your business strategy? It’s not uncommon for business leaders to be so deep in the weeds of their business that it’s difficult to step back and simply explain their business’ purpose.
The ability to identify and deliver compelling messages is not only important for your brand, but it also connects you to the people who matter most: your audiences.
We often help clients identify and tell their story through a message mapping process. This exercise helps establish a reason for existing as well as proof points that differentiate your business from competitors. We believe message maps are valuable for several reasons:
- The map provides the storyteller with solid messaging that can be used for multiple communication platforms from a simple conversation or a letter or brochure to customers, to an interview with the media.
- Message maps get your internal team on the same page as far as how and what you communicate about your business, ensuring consistency and relevancy. It also lets them know the things that matter most to your business: your values, your attributes and your objectives.
- During crises or times of uncertainty, a message map serves as a guide for reinforcing your business principles, negating rumors or inaccuracies, or even alleviating apprehension or doubt among your audiences. Once your messaging is established, it’s important to learn how to navigate the map for effective communication.
More than a mission or vision statement, a message map is the framework of your business — a living, breathing document that tells your story. Over time, the map can help analyze your strengths, weaknesses and priorities as a business as well as the messages being delivered to your centers of influence.