Getting Your Company Message Right
Peak Communicators was recently engaged by a well-established successful Canadian-based company selling internationally. The management group was in a quandary: they no longer knew who they were and where they fit in the marketplace.
The capable managers felt the company’s culture had gone flat, its messages were out of date and they were drifting.
They didn’t know who they were, who they wanted to be, where they were going and why they made a difference.
There was a strong feeling that the thousand plus employees had lost the fire in the belly to forge ahead in a changing marketplace and sales environment. Some new conquests were needed.
In short, they no longer knew what their story was or how to tell it. They wanted a motivational story to provoke change.
A story is a narrative describing an event or series events. It’s not a sales pitch for a product or service.
To resonate, a story must have three strong elements: emotion – information – call to action.
Peak facilitated a strategic brainstorming session with senior managers to unlock information. We developed the topics to be communicated and then filled those buckets with messages. Working with the managers, messages were refined into three key messages per topic.
Change is making somebody or something different. For this company, it had to be positive change toward a clear vision and direction. And it had to be exciting. They wanted a new story to lead the process for change.
Questions asked included:
- How do you see yourselves? Your products?
- Why do you do this?
- How do customers see you? Your products?
- What is your ultimate product or value proposition?
- What does change look like to you?
- Where do you see yourself in one year? Two years? Five years?
- What would success look like?
A remarkable amount of information tumbled forth during the half-day session. It was an opportunity to re-evaluate, redefine and set a new direction.
The new course should be established by analyzing the data established by the topics and defined by the key messages.
These topics and key messages became the guideposts for all communications: internal for employees, contractors and suppliers – external for customers, prospects and key influencers.
They are also the outline for THE story or stories that everyone can tell.
A communications plan should be a next step to guide communicating the exciting new messages that will give new purpose to employees and renewed motivation for business development and growth.