MESSAGE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

 

How long does it take to create a strategic message?

 

There are no shortcuts to creating an effective strategic message. It takes time, commitment, focus and expertise.

 

 

The LEET APPROACH requires a cross-functional development team, led by the chief executive of the organization or program.
 
The team works through a 5-step process, which is completed over a series of three facilitated meetings.
 
The meetings are facilitated by Rebecca Leet, who also drafts language after each meeting for presentation at the next one. The process results in a set of statements that are printed onto a 3-fold wallet card (the size of a business card) for quick and easy reference by those who use the message.

Depending upon the schedule of those on the message development team, the process can be completed in 4 to 6 weeks.

 

PREPARATION

Ms. Leet meets with the client to explain the process, obtain clear understanding of the client need, relevant understanding of the organization and its challenges, and insight into the personalities that will be involved in the message development process.

MEETING #1 [ 6-8 Hours ]

A cross-functional team of 4-8 individuals, including the chief executive, meet in a 6-hour session facilitated by Ms. Leet. Most groups complete the first step of the message development process – identification of action sought – during this meeting and progress through identification of some target audiences and the desires that motivate those audiences.

MEETING #2 [ 6-8 Hours ]

Ms. Leet opens this meeting by reading a draft of the core message and any subset messages that were able to be drafted based on the discussion in the first meeting. The team discusses and makes changes in the core message. If any subset messages have been created, the team discusses and makes changes in them.

 

During the second meeting, the team completes identification of the desires of the target audiences and confirms that there is overlapping desire between the organization and its audiences.

MEETING #3 [ 2-4 Hours ]

Ms. Leet opens the meeting by reading the draft final core message and all subset messages. The team spends the meeting – which usually is 2-3 hours long – discussing and making final changes in the messages.

DELIVERABLES

Message Manual with matrix of the message and sub-messages created and an explanation of how the message should be used.

 

Wallet cards with the message matrix printed on them.

 

A template of the wallet cards for client future reproduction and updating.

Note: The message development process commonly though, indirectly surfaces issues related to strategic aspects of the organization such as the mission, how the organization is structured to achieve the mission, the program portfolio, etc. These issues are not addressed for resolution in the message development process, but the process often shines a light on operational issues that are later re-examined.