I recently delivered a new message platform (tagline, positioning statement, talking points, elevator pitch outline) to the team at the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) as part of the ramp up to a big organizational anniversary.
These folks do an incredible job with few staff members and a tight budget, even as the scope of their work grows to encompass a larger region and a broader range of environmental health issues. So when EHC’s communications director asked me how to make the most of the messaging, I recommended that he train his colleagues and leadership to be effective messengers.
Your organization too can benefit hugely by pioneering an all-org message team. Here’s why that’s so important…
The Unintended Consequence: Confusion, not Connection
You’re the solo marketer in your organization, or that’s just part of your job, or you’re one of a team of five or ten. No matter your situation, the reach of your marketing team is limited to the conversations you have and the multiple communication channels you put to work.
But because your colleagues and board have never been formally trained on the key elements of your message platform, the daily work of your organization produces a damaging unintended consequence: Their conversations with your target audiences feature conflicting descriptions of your organization’s focus and impact, inconsistent use of the tagline you’re counting on to stir interest, inquiries and action, plus the dead silences and pure misinformation that these colleagues share simply because they aren’t aware they could do better for your organization, or don’t know how to.
The Solution: A Confident, Well-Trained Message Team
Imagine this: Your colleagues and board members are effective messengers. Their comfort in delivering your organization’s message platform builds momentum and sparks connections.
Because your team of messengers interacts in the course of their daily work with people you’d never get to talk to—whether as program staff delivering services, the donation services team taking phone donations during your fund drive, or board members discussing their board work with colleagues at their own workplace—your organization benefits from consistent outreach to an extended circle of contacts; an exponential gain in building momentum, sparking connection and motivating action.
8 Steps to a Team of Powerful Messengers
Training your staff and leadership is a high-impact, low-investment marketing strategy for every nonprofit, but one that’s frequently overlooked. It’s the ultimate low-hanging fruit for nonprofits like yours.
Read on in Part Two which takes you through the groundwork to building your message team, then continue on:
P.S. Get more guidance on strengthening your relationships with key audiences with our no-charge 2012 Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide,