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.

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