Messaging isn’t a one-time deal. Done properly, narratives are bolstered by a regular stream of positive and connective messages communicated through a variety of media, with input from a variety of sources in your organization. With that in mind, do you have a tool you use to collect and “bank” all the creative energy on your team? Anything that organizes, streamlines, and purposes all the content, graphics, messages, narratives, ideas, or processes?
If you don’t have these tools and workflow processes in place you are missing out, not only on harnessing the creative energy of your team, but on opportunities to maximize the effectiveness of your messaging. Consider how much more effective your entire team could be if they had a central place where key information about your brand was available to everyone, and if there was a process for inviting collaboration between individuals and departments when building a communication campaign.
The Central Hub
Begin here by storing key information about your company’s history, mission, vision, focus, priorities, products, services, and past successes in a place that is easily accessed by everyone involved in any aspect of your company’s messaging. That way, if you want to put out a release celebrating a milestone, a preliminary response to a question, or a quick reaction to something happening in the market, no one has to go looking for information that adds depth and texture to their bare bones communication. It’s all right there, edited, curated, and consistent.
This could also be a place where customer concerns or questions are logged, along with how those issues were addressed, as well as templates for creating internal documents or press releases are stored, boilerplate “about” or “contact” text is stored for press releases and media contacts, and any other content or graphics that will make it easier and faster to get approved communication out of your office and into the marketplace.
The Flexible Process
In a busy workplace environment, all the people you would like to contribute may not be available at the same time, and too many meetings are death to the creative process. So, to enjoy the benefit of their creative input, you need to establish a process to invite and encourage individual and collective engagement. Because of the nature of a dynamic working environment, flexibility is a must for getting the most from this process.
That will require the person in charge of the project to be organized and to plan ahead. Flexibility has to be built into the process. It’s a lot harder to try to add it later. In addition, key creatives on your team will need to have access to the project in progress, so they can see where it is, study the campaign and offer their input when at a time that works best for them. Planning this ahead of time works a lot better than randomly sticking your head in someone’s office and asking them to “take a look at this if you have a minute.”
The Creative Crossover
Look for ways that each of your messages can support or supplement all the other media or messages that you are sending out. Instead of looking at each missive or creation as a standalone message, consider how each article, release, letter, submission, graphic, video or other media content can add to a greater whole to create a cohesive meta or long-term narrative. Thinking through this step or adding it to your already established process encourages greater continuity, which helps avoid message confusion in the marketplace.