FAQ

 

Clarifying the Strategic Message | FAQ

What is a Strategic Message?

A strategic message is language designed to help move specific audiences to take a desired action. Although called “a message,” a strategic message is actually a set of messages: a core message that is used with all audiences and subset messages written to address individual audiences.

 

Together, the set of messages connects an organization with an audience so that a conversation can occur. The major points within the set of messages usually supply the jumping-off point for the ensuing conversation.

What is the difference between a Strategic Message and a Brand?

There is usually only one situation that causes confusion between a strategic message and a brandthe need for institutional (or large-product) identity or positioning. That is the purpose of branding and only one of the uses of strategic messaging. Strategic messaging is employed in a wide variety of circumstances, basically any time an organization wants to motivate a target audience or audiences to take an action.

 

While there are also similarities, there are more differences than similarities. To name a few:

 

Messaging involves only language and the language can be flexed depending upon the formality of the situation. Branding involves visuals and language and establishes inviolate language, images, and logos.

 

Messaging can be accomplished in weeks and branding takes months.

 

• In the majority of circumstances, messaging does not involve formal market research whereas branding usually involves research and testing.

What is the difference between a Strategic Message and a Slogan

They have different designs and purposes. A slogan is a short, fixed statement used to identify an organization or product. A strategic message is a set of statements used to help move specific audiences to take specific action.

What is the difference between a Strategic Message and a Mission Statement?

Depending upon the message goal, there can be confusion between a message and a mission statement. The two are quite different. For example:

 

• A mission statement is an internal management tool used to guide and evaluate an organization’s activities, expenditures, and plans. A strategic message is a marketing tool that is used to engage specific audiences for the purpose of taking specific action.

 

• The language of a strategic message is designed to resonate with the desires of a target audience. It is the organization talking to its audience using language the audience might use and focusing on what the audience wants.

 

• A mission statement is written from the organization’s perspective, reflecting what it wants. It is the organization talking to itself – often reflecting desires that motivate people within the organization but might not motivate outsiders as strongly as other desires of theirs.

What is the difference between a Strategic Message and an Elevator Speech?

A strategic message is written with specific audiences in mind. It focuses on the desires of the target audience and employs language that audience might use.

 

An elevator speech, so-called because it should work with whomever you meet in an elevator, is not targeted in focus or language to specific audiences.

What is the difference between Messaging and Framing?

Usually only one situation causes confusion between a strategic message and a frame: the desire to persuade individuals to support a certain point of view related to politics or public policy. Either may be employed when that is the goal.

 

In addition, both framing and messaging use words exclusively and seek to leave the listener or reader with a point of view about a specific issue that arises partly from emotion and partly from intellect.

 

However, there are more differences than similarities between the two. To name a few:

 

• The message development process can be accomplished in weeks whereas frame development takes months.

 

Framing usually involves market research and market testing. Messaging often involves neither.

 

Framing usually seeks to make people think of an issue from a totally new perspective – “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are different ways of framing the abortion issue. Messaging does not usually seek to do that.

 

• Framing research can inform message development, but the reverse does not happen.

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