Messaging Fluency & MSG

Bootcamp Week #8: Supporting Messages by Audience

(this week’s vid)

What’s the difference between ‘advanced’ and ‘fluent’ when it comes to speaking a language? Your ability to calibrate to different audiences and settings.

For instance, it’s one thing to tell your colleagues that you tried the latest spot from the MSG150 food blog. It’s quite another to relay that same information to a chef from Le Cordon Bleu.

It’s about your audience and what matters most to them. That’s why it’s important to come up with your top three target audiences (the groups of people who are most important to the success of your organization) and know what they care about. Really, truly care about.

If you’re the Seattle Aquarium, visitors, volunteers and donors are all extremely important to you. But what they need to hear in order to engage differs dramatically.

This Week’s To-Do’s

  1. Download the Nonprofit Messaging Framework template.
  2. Brainstorm a list of target audiences.
  3. Narrow that list to your top three.
  4. Write a short paragraph describing what matters most to each target audience.
  5. Create two to four messages for each audience.
  6. Put proof points and stories for each supporting message that will motivate them to take action to take action!

Next Week

Sharing and using your Messaging Framework.

About Claxon’s Nonprofit Messaging Bootcamp

This is week #6 of our Nonprofit Messaging Bootcamp. If you’re just joining the Bootcamp, here’s what you need to do to get started.

Avoiding Messaging Mayhem

Remember the game ‘telephone’ from grade school? The first person would whisper something to the next and it would make its way down the line until it got to the last person who would announce the then mangled sentence. I love that game. But I don’t love it when it happens to nonprofits and it happens a lot.

We talked about this game when I recently spoke at the Washington Food Coalition’s Annual Conference because there was a lot of angst about “losing control of our message” among this great group of folks.

My suggestion was to focus on making it really easy for people passionate about their organizations to spread the word about your organization. That means picking one thing that everyone will focus on. One thing; not your everything.

When it comes to messaging, success isn’t everyone repeating the same one phrase verbatim; success is when your fans can consistently convey the most important and compelling thing about your organization while still making it feel personal.

This is why all organizations benefit from having a simple Messaging Framework. You should see the relief on the faces of staff and volunteers when they know how to talk about the good work you’re doing.

Here is a template that will help you develop a Messaging Framework Template.  It’s simple, straight-forward and will make people jump for joy at the opportunity to learn more about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?