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The Meaning of Staying “On Message”

Staying “on message” is about staying on meaning. It’s not about word choice. There are many ways to say hello that carry the same message.

The purpose of messaging is to help a business speak with focus, cohesion and consistency. For example, a business identifies its key messages and then strives to incorporate those same messages across all their marketing and communications materials.

Where businesses go wrong is when they take messaging too literally. They wind up repeating the same words over and over again. Then in a few months, they’ll step back, take a survey of the content they’ve published and realize that everything sounds the same. Exactly the same.

Messaging is about meaning. It’s not necessarily about word choice. There are 1,000 different ways to say hello – different words, signals, signs and expressions – and yet these carry the same message of salutation.

That’s also true of messaging in marketing. Staying “on message” doesn’t mean we robotically spew out the same words to the letter. Staying on message only requires sticking to the meaning.

People – prospects, customers, employees, analysts, bloggers, influencers and journalists – all learn in different ways.  So, we can and should aim to find new words, new analogies, new visuals and new mediums to describe the same meaning – and still speak with focus, cohesion and consistency.

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Image credit: Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

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