Sometimes in our quest to get a message out quickly, we lose site of some of the key elements of what makes that message meaningful to its intended audience. It’s easy to get in that “Just the facts, ma’am” mode without taking a holistic look at the overall message. That got me thinking about the anatomy of an effective message. Like human anatomy, a message has many layers that are all interconnected to one another and should connect back to the heart of your organization. The skeletal frame of the message is the who, what, where, when, why and how. Answering those questions is key. But there’s more to an effective message than that. Here is a checklist you can use with some key questions to ask yourself when you write a message.
- Function: Is the goal to inform, persuade, take action?
- Clarity: Will the message make sense to the target audience? Is it vague? Might it be read another way? Did you remove jargon?
- Flow: Is it logical? Do all of your points relate to one another?
- Connectivity: How does the message relate to the big picture? How does it relate to the company’s vision, strategic priorities, employees’ jobs?
- Vitality: Did you bring the message to life through examples, stories or visuals to resonate with employees?
- Purity: Is there too much information? Did you stray from the key points? Anything you can eliminate?
- Voice: Does the tone “speak” to your intended audience using the voice of your brand?
- Checkup: Did someone representing the intended audience review before you send it out?