Think before your speak. This childhood adage serves me well as a communications professional.
In films “Did I say that out loud?” may get a laugh. Not so much in the business world when the words are instantly blared via multiple channels—tweets, emails, images and posts. The consequences can be costly.
Starting smart, rather than losing time and dollars attempting to correct mistakes in the flood of information is worth the effort. Message mapping is a valuable exercise. Take the time to deliberately consider your objectives, audience, and language. What do you want to accomplish?
What are your objectives?
Fuzzy objectives do not lead anywhere useful or build the foundation for a compelling story. Consider the purpose.
Inform the audience?
Launch a new service or product?
Demonstrate thought leadership?
Differentiate your offering from the competition?
Challenge the status quo?
What do you know about your audience?
The more you understand your audience, the more effective message development and channel selection will be. Professional organizations, third party partnerships, industry events and trade publications are good resources for B2B outreach. Aligning channels and audience ensures that format and language support objectives.
What are credible sources of information on this subject for the target group?
What channels are most effective?
What holds the attention of the audience?
What motivates them to act?
Are the benefits clearly and simply stated?
Is your story relevant?
Do you open a conversation that respects the audience?
Does your language align the objective, audience and selected channels?
Word choice and arrangement form a potent pair. A message developed to build visibility may not generate sales. A pithy tweet may lead to a very technical white paper.
Is the message memorable?
Are the words chosen the best for this story?
Is the language familiar to the audience? Is the syntax correctly applied?
Do the words distinguish the products or services from competitors?
Do the visuals complement the language?
Have you tested the message on impartial ears and eyes?
The fall trade show season and 2012 communications plans are around the corner. To stand out from the crowd, rely on clarity, consistency, and transparency when delivering green messages. Please share examples that work or fail from your reading, online journeys and industry adventures.
Published: http://www.edcmag.com/blogs/14/post/grammar-of-green-communications-think-before-you-speak and http://www.sustainablefacility.com/articles/87443-sustainable-facility-blog-2011-08-15-grammar-of-green-communications-think-before-you-speak