A strong, shared vision and corresponding message is critical to any long-term efforts to establish and build your organization’s brand, overall reputation and general awareness. Many organizations struggle to ensure employees know how to speak about the company and that they are sharing consistent information.
A message map can help organizations with this challenge.
A visual representation, a message map, helps your company share the most important feature-benefit statements that you want your employees (and eventually your customers) to share repeatedly and consistently in all formal and informal communications. It helps your organization simplify your story in a way that your staff and clients can easily share. Most message maps begin with a general statement (think elevator speech) about your company followed by “buckets” of relevant details for different audience segments.
Because message maps allow you to break out information by audience segments, they are great for shaping your message prior to any sort of engagement. For example, if your message map includes a section on how your organization is involved in the community, you can share examples from those particular sections in meeting with a potential new hire interested in your company’s dedication to the region. If your message map has a section dedicated to client results and outcomes, you will want to share that information in a new business meeting.
Depending on the size of your organization and what products and/or services you offer, you may find that your organization needs multiple message maps. For example, you may create a map for your overall organizational story but also develop one for an important strategic initiative you are focusing on during the year. Or if your company is rolling out a new product, you will need a very focused message around the specific product, and a separate message map is completely appropriate.
Message mapping is not a new concept. It’s been around for decades. But message mapping is a crucial exercise for organizations of all sizes and in all industries. And if done right, your message map will include the right amount of relevant and compelling messages and will serve as a guide when you develop other marketing and communication vehicles, like marketing collateral, for your organization or for a specific product or service.
If this essential piece is what your organization is missing to ensure your employees are speaking about your company in the same way and your audience is hearing the same story, contact Chartwell Agency for more details on how to get started.