A clear message begins with a clear mind

This session is all about focus: Focus on our audience and what they need to hear from us.

To date, the Barnabas message has been about quantity over quality.

In web writing, a great rule of thumb is to cut out 75% of your first draft. As we’ve reviewed messaging, we’ve been overwhelmed. Here are some of the objection phrases from our post-it notes last week.

  • “They won’t care about me”

  • “This could be your neighbor”

  • “They don’t have a role for me”

Here are some of our lead-off Barnabas messages on web pages where these people might go.

  • “For Nassau residents in temporary crisis, we offer a helping hand to get them on their feet and back to self-sufficiency.”

  • “Barnabas is Nassau County Florida’s only comprehensive service center to assist those in need.”

  • “Nearly all our funding comes from private sources.”

What’s missing?

A major component of messaging is conciseness — cutting to the heart of the matter. And at the heart of the matter? Is empathy.

We told so many great empathetic stories. It’s clearly at the heart of our brand. It needs to be on front of our website, too. A younger consultant might all you to “hit ‘em in the feels.”

So, as a brand consultant with many fancy suits, it’s my job to come up with fun little exercises.

Are you familiar with the Quakers? They are known for their quiet, “unprogrammed” services that allow the participants a chance to stop, still themselves and listen.

Quakers have been successful in business and were centuries ahead of their time on many social issues. Quietness creates focus.

This tends to do two things to messaging: It simplifies it and emboldens it.

So, tomorrow, let’s leave the phones on silent (unless you’re on call for a specific need during our time). Let’s listen to the computers hum.

Let’s be quiet.

After our introductions, let’s take 3 (3!) intentional minutes to reflect on the core ideas. I’ll put them up on the screen. You can do this in any way you would like.

After those three minutes, let’s talk about them with a focused mind. We will leave behind all the junk and we’ll talk in simple, core, shared ideas. We’re going to start making some decisions about our brand message.

I’ll write them down, and this will become the basis of our brand message. This is a big deal, and it marks a transition in our time together. To date, we’ve focused on message. Next, we’ll be moving into voice and tone — how we say it.

It’s about to get fun!

How to trim wordiness in your writing – Poynter

Brené Brown on Empathy - YouTube

Testimony of Simplicity | Quaker Cloud

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