The 5-step Message Development Process has been used successfully for more than a decade by a wide variety of organizations. Global consulting firms and small businesses. Professional associations
with 90,000 members. Nonprofit organizations with six-person staffs. Famous, wide-ranging foundations and small, specialized think tanks.
The message quickly connects you with your audiences so you can have a conversation. The jumping off point for the conversation is usually something contained in the strategic message.
The message development methodology is easy to explain but challenging to execute.
Below are the 5 steps:
You communicate for a reason, what is it? Identify the ultimate action you want to make happen. Don’t settle on an intermediary result like raising awareness, informing and persuading. Knowing the action you want is critical. It drives the development of everything else.
To realize your goal, you need to activate certain people. Who are they? They may be large groups or small ones – maybe just a few individuals. They may make your action happen by their direct action or by their influence over those who will act directly.
What motivates these people to act as you want? Self-interest drives action, so focus on their self-interest. And focus on their desires more than their needs because people act faster to satisfy a desire than a need.
You know what desires motivate your audiences, so the question is: can you meet their desires? If you can’t, either develop a capacity to do so or drop the audience.
The message language must be brief, conversational, and use language that is meaningful to the listener. In it, the audience must “hear” their desire being met. The focus is not on "what do I need to tell them?" but on "what do they need to hear?"