5 Rules for Message Clarity

Simple, powerful ideas differentiate you, sell products and reinforce your brand. So how do you achieve clarity?

We have 5 simple rules to help:

1. Know your audience

The most effective writing and speaking are directed to a particular audience, but tailoring the messages in the digital world is tough since channels of communication aren’t discrete.

However, you do need to leverage the tools at hand to direct the right messages to the right audiences, in their preferred channels. Work on the balance between a voice that fits the platform in question and is uniquely yours.

2. Have an organizing principle

One obstacle to clarity is coordinating messages from often divergent sources. You want to be sure that marketing, social media, employee communications, investor relations, the corporate office — everyone — is singing from the same songbook. Use an organizing principle to guide all these efforts — if it’s distinctive, this can even be your company’s mission, vision or purpose. It can also be a key message, core set of beliefs, or any shared set of guiding thoughts.

3. Be consistent

There’s no better way to muddle up a message than to contradict yourself! Once you have an organizing principle, ground all of your messages in it.

4. Avoid industry jargon

Use plain language. When writing, we tend to make things more convoluted than they need be. This can be for any number of reasons: perhaps you’re attempting to convey a greater sense of authority, or you’re showcasing your latest and greatest product. Don’t let temptation win! Use too much tech-speak, and your audience’s eyes will glaze over.

5. Be memorable and human

Keep the messages short — they’re easier to remember. And it’s always best to show rather than tell. Simple and evocative messages are best since they are easy to remember, understand and connect to on a human level. You’re talking to real people, not just “employees,” “investors,” “businesses,” or “customers.”

At the end of the day…

Ultimately, poor messaging costs your company money and erodes your brand. Contradictory, unclear communications make it that much more difficult to differentiate your offering, sell your products and make your case.

Furthermore, make sure to keep your language up to date! Messaging isn’t a “set it and forget it” task, and should be refined and evolve with your business. Keep your messages fresh and relevant, it is vital to your brand’s longevity.

Struggling to effectively communicate your story? Ideas On Purpose can help.