Messaging isn’t just for media interviews

What does your company do?

This should be a simple question for anyone in an organization to answer. Most people think they know, but chances are good that each employee has a different idea of what your company stands for and why your work is important.

In fact, we did a little experiment once with a group of executives who begrudgingly attended a messaging workshop we were leading. To help them understand why it was important for these executives to participate, we asked each person around the table that one simple question: what does your company do?

We got a different answer from every person, and the executives had a new appreciation for messaging.

That’s why we were excited when we were asked recently to work with a division of an animal healthcare company to help refine and simplify their messaging, and why we were really jazzed when they asked us to teach their top executives how to deliver these messages with confidence in various situations, not just media interviews.

What a great idea.

This division had recently pivoted within the organization and were tackling their market in a completely new way. They needed to promote their new position without diminishing competing segments of the company. Leadership understood that employees would have difficulty verbalizing what the division was doing, and why it was important to customers and the company as a whole.

To do this, we first defined the various audiences that employees would be speaking to, and what kind of information those audiences were looking for. Audiences were varied and included other employees, industry peers and acquaintances, in addition to several other.

After introducing the new messaging, we discussed ways to convey messages to meet the needs of divergent audiences, while staying on track and sounding genuine. We discussed how to address uncomfortable questions, and even did some role playing to demonstrate how difficult this can be without practice.

It was a good reminder that knowing how to deliver the company messaging is important for everyone in the organization.

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