How do you come up with your company’s message?
Do you create it yourself in marketing or communications? Or involve a group of leaders from your company to co-create the message?
Here are 4 reasons why it’s better to co-create the company message in a group.
First, a group can recall more anecdotes and stories than an individual.
When it comes to storytelling, all of us together are smarter than any of us alone.
You may notice, when you start telling a story in a group, someone adds details you forgot, didn’t know or overlooked.
“Did you know what else happened that day …?” This kind of aided recall enables a group to reconstruct events and stories more accurately.
One member of the group may add a perspective or details that the rest of the group didn’t know about. That’s one reason groups create stories better than individuals can.
Second, a story created by a group reflects multiple points of view.
Multiple points of view are valuable in a company message. That’s because your audiences will bring their multiple points of view to your message.
Groups are good at shooting down stories that don’t work with questions like, “So what? Who cares?” In a group, someone is more likely to speak up for an audience and voice its concerns.
Eliminate any parts of a story that invoke a “So what?” response.
Multiple points of view make it easier to see whether the story answers the audience’s eternal question, “What’s in it for me?” A group can better ferret out the exact benefits of your company’s message to the audience.
Every storyteller has blind spots. A group is better at detecting any blind spots or holes in a story.
Third, a group sniffs out untruths better than individuals.
The more truthful your message is, the more powerful it grows. Always build your message and story on a foundation of truth.
Studies show that a group can better remove message elements that might create doubt in audiences’ minds, such as exaggerations and falsehoods. How so?
Groups are significantly better at sniffing out untruths than individuals are. As Scientific American reported, “Psychologists at the University of Chicago have found that groups of people are consistently more reliable at rooting out fabrications than chance or individual judges.
“Researchers found that groups of evaluators scored just as well as individuals in determining truths but were up to 8.5% more accurate in exposing lies. Groups of three or six were equally reliable at pinpointing falsehoods.
“The slight edge arises as a result of insights that emerge from conversations, says Nadav Klein, one of the study’s authors. By talking out their observations with others, people gain new perspectives, improving their understanding.”
A group that works through your message together produces a more truthful, more believable message.
Fourth, a group that co-creates a message stands ready to deliver it.
The group that co-creates your Message Map knows exactly how the company message came about, what its purpose is, and which are the right words to use. That means they can better deliver the message and train others in their teams to deliver the message consistently.
When you co-create a company message, everyone can sing from the same songbook. The upside is that you gain a whole choir for your message instantly.
Hearing a consistent message from multiple people on a leadership team makes the message more familiar and more believable to audiences. Consistent messages are can earn a place in the brain’s place cells, which never run out of capacity (unlike short-term memories).
Make your message the best it can be. Use a Message Map to boil down your message to one page that everyone can deliver.
Co-create your message in groups to better:
- Gain total recall of stories.
- Reflect audiences’ multiple points of view.
- Sniff out untruths and holes in the story.
- Deliver the message consistently.
As a marketing change agent, I consult with clients, lead content marketing workshops for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and write the weekly Simplify Marketing blog.
With experience from Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, RR Donnelley and Tellabs, I've been named:
- Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
- Best Marketer by BtoB magazine.
- A B-to-B CMO to watch by Fierce CMO.