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Articulate to Resonate: Crafting and Communicating Messages That Matter

by Eric Norman  |  
March 30, 2010

We've outlined in preceding parts of this series how brand-focused research, understanding your constituents, and building your brand foundation will help your organization understand itself and its context clearly, and so establish the basis for communicating effectively––verbally and visually.

The next step is to articulate your ideas, qualities, and capabilities in ways that connect to, and engage, your communities.

Messaging—communicating with a rigorous focus on a system of key ideas—is a fundamental activity of strategic brand development and management. Disciplined messaging helps organizations engage in productive dialogues, especially across social media communities.

Sharpen your pencil and your focus

Four principles guide good message strategies: relevance, simplicity, clarity, and consistency.

1. Relevance

If no one cares about what you have to say, there's little hope for your brand. Spending on design and promotion might get you exposure, but little traction. But by the same token, highly relevant messages can help overcome other vulnerabilities (like poor exposure, inconsistent customer experiences, bigger competition).

If you've done your homework and understand current and possible connections between your offerings and your communities' interests, you can craft highly relevant messages that can build emotional and rational reasons to care.

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Eric Norman is a strategist at Sametz Blackstone Associates (, a Boston-based, brand-focused communications practice that integrates strategy, design, and digital media to help mission-driven organizations navigate change. Reach him via or 617-266-8577.

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  • by Katie Martell - NetProspex Tue Mar 30, 2010 via web

    Eric, 5 stars!

    This article reminds me of the book 'Made to Stick' by the Heath brothers. It was assigned in a course at Emerson College, and sits on my desk as a constant reminder to cut the BS and be concise.

    Recommend as further reading from this article, and a must-read for marketers, as it provides compelling real-world messaging insights for each of the above tips.

    or on Amazon

  • by Gunter Soydanbay Tue Apr 6, 2010 via web

    This is a well written post. I would add one more criteria to yours: conciseness. I think you referred to it by simplicity. There is an optimum number of words for effective messages. You can click the link below for more. Cheers.

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