Content // Messaging


By Matthew Desotell
Sep 12, 2018

What’s the message? What’s the voice? What are we saying and who are we saying it to? How are we saying it and in what tone, through what channels and in what context?  What’s our message in long form and in short form?  What does it look like formally and casually?  Lot’s of considerations and good questions, and at this point, we’re probably seeing all the ways that “messaging” can be and what it can mean for an organization.

Think about it, what’s the messaging of the United States of America, Space X, Mountain Dew, Dr. Phil, or the next candidate for Senate?  What are they saying to the world, their audience, their followers, and their inner circles?

Ideally, it’s something cohesive, “truthful,” and clear so it can be shared and repeated by others.  Many others.  And a change of message can be okay too. Changes in direction and mind are part of iteration, exploration, humility, and ultimately truth. It can be tricky to explain, and possibly to defend, but if its truthful change, then it’s likely an easy decision to make. So whether it’s a new message or the beginning of messaging, carrying it out can take some thoughtfulness, savviness, scripting, and good storytelling.  Once you know the story, you can synthesize the message into bite size quotes or long form texts.  Btw, Now’s a good time to make a note to check out the brand DNA article – it’s all about what the story is about. And what is any story about really: something truthful.  Even fairytales and make-believe is based on “truth.”  Your dreams and nightmares are based on some “truth” inside you.

And so, your messaging is based on some truth inside your organization.  You might know it in your mind or heart, but do the others?  You may have never put much thought into it because you might think your product is “lifeless” or inanimate.  Maybe you sell garden hoses.  But can you 100% hedge your bet on the other garden hose company never connecting the narrative dots of garden hoses> to grass and terrain> to environment> to planet earth and nature and then ultimately winning out and beating you because they made a humanistic connection to something that matters to everyone.  Was that a reach?  If they win, it doesn’t matter too much what you think but you’ll have plenty of time to debate it at a dive bar somewhere 48 months from the time you’re reading this.  And that may sound a little like dramatic science-fiction but here’s some straight forward reality – People care about grass, mother earth, and they certainly like to hear from the winners.

Good messaging can be delivered in many forms and put into words everyone can easily understand, and the more story and truth it can hold, the better.