Every core messaging session I lead with a new client begins with this exercise: “Pretend we’re sitting next to each other on the plane, and I’ve just asked you what you do. How do you explain, in layman’s terms, what your company does and why it is relevant?”
Easy exercise, right? However, you’d be surprised how many people have a difficult time framing their company this way. One of the hardest things you will ever do is tell your own story because you live in the weeds of the day-to-day and minute-to-minute of your business.
But guess what? Your target audience doesn’t. To truly connect and keep someone’s attention, you have to be able to relate yourself to them. Whether they are potential investors or prospective clients, before they will take any steps with you, they must understand the context of the problem, how your company solves that problem and why that solution is better than any other one on the market.
That’s the backbone of any core messaging exercise, and it will influence everything from a company’s website copy to presentations to public relations and marketing campaigns to sales collateral pieces and even media relations strategies.
When designing a core messaging framework, we identify the market’s pain points, nail down the company’s value propositions, position the company competitively, formulate a succinct elevator pitch and conclude by crafting a boilerplate, which combines elements from the entire framework.
You find genuine power when you work on your core messaging. That keeps your language clear and consistent. It identifies the key words that should be incorporated into your website and across all of your external materials. And, most importantly, it gives you a ready-to-deliver answer when someone gives you the opportunity to tell your story.
About Tanner Latham
Tanner is the Content Director at Trevelino/Keller. He joined the agency after spending 15 years as a print, digital and radio journalist, most recently as a travel writer and reporter for NPR. A hiker, foodie and public radio junkie, Tanner also hosts a nationally distributed culture podcast called Authentic US.