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Aug 13, 2020 BY A Mighty Citizen UX Design & Content, Marketing

Creating a Messaging Platform: A Case Study

“So, what do you do?”

This can be a deceptively loaded question. When asked with sincere curiosity, the inquirer is hoping to learn a couple of things: what you do, and why do you do it. Outside of small talk, your response to this question (or lack thereof) can reveal a lot about your organization’s messaging framework—especially if you can’t deliver an elevator pitch with ease. If you feel uncertain about your organization’s value proposition, key messages, use cases, purpose, and your role within it all, your coworkers probably do too.

A solid elevator pitch takes your core messaging and turns it into an immediate selling point. But, without any sort of unified brand messaging, your team isn’t set up for success.

Your people are your best marketing strategy. Impactful organizations encourage their staff to always have the “why” in mind and to be as familiar with the company’s mission as they are with their own role. That clarity doesn’t happen by accident—it happens with a strong messaging platform. A messaging platform is a document that defines who you are as an organization and what value you bring to the world. It’s an essential “know thyself” guide.

As part of their rebranding effort, we recently created a messaging platform for Every Body Texas, formerly Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas. Every Body Texas works to ensure that every person in Texas can access safe, unbiased, and high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Your people are your best marketing strategy.

With a mission as critical as this, the team at Every Body Texas understood the profound importance of strong brand messaging. Every word matters. Implementing a messaging platform has allowed Every Body Texas to take ownership of its new brand. They’re driving their organization forward using one of the most powerful tools we have: language.

How to Create a Messaging Platform

Every Body Texas didn’t ask us to create their messaging platform because they lacked talented communicators. Their whole staff speaks knowledgeably and passionately about their work. They brought us in because they knew their organization too well. They needed help from people who were less enmeshed in the day-to-day operations.

Once you’re an expert on any subject, especially your work, you’re not able to communicate with people who are less familiar in the most effective, strategic way. You’ll use jargon, you’ll accidentally get into the weeds, and you’ll probably assume that people know what you’re talking about when they don’t. You can’t unknow what you already know, so to get around what we call the “Curse of Knowledge”, it’s crucial to introduce new perspectives when you want a full picture of your organization.

One of the first steps we took in this process was holding a discovery session. During the discovery, Mighty Citizen asked a bunch of questions to spark conversation and uncover information. Every Body Texas staff gathered to discuss, debate, and ultimately land on answers reflective of their identity. Every Body Texas’s commitment to bringing many people to the table during the discovery session helped them develop answers as multi-dimensional as their organization.

As lively and illuminating as discovery sessions are, they’re tough! We ask the complex (dare we say existential?) questions that don’t lend themselves to simple one-word answers. Why does your organization exist? Why do your clients matter to you? What would the community look like if you weren’t in it? In any other context, these questions would be borderline rude. The truth is, being forced to look at yourself and articulate why your work matters can be the jolt that propels your organization forward. The next step is to get it in writing.

They needed help from people who were less enmeshed in the day-to-day operations.

How to Use a Messaging Platform

A messaging platform is an internal-facing document, something that is first and foremost for team members within your organization. It’s a living document, a guide meant to change and shift along with you. We create messaging platforms to help organizations:

  • Create internal consensus about the organization’s identity, key messages, and messaging pillars
  • Craft their story to consider their target audiences
  • Coach staff members to talk about the brand in a uniform way

A messaging document that accomplishes all of these goals is, as you might imagine, multi-faceted. It speaks to your purpose, your mission, your vision, and your values. It identifies your different audiences, which problems and pain points you solve, and what makes you different from your competitors. It gives your team concrete language for speaking about your work and the mission of your organization, whether they’re networking or just telling an acquaintance about their work.

Mostly, your messaging platform is YOURS. You get to use it to fit your needs. Every Body Texas is a great example of an organization that has taken its messaging platform and made it work for them. Every Body Texas has used their messaging platform strategically as a template for effective messaging and communication with their audiences. “We’ve absolutely used parts of the messaging platform for copy. Especially as we’ve been in the rebrand/relaunch space, we’re taking every opportunity to be direct about our mission. In communications with our audiences and staff, we write copy that connects back to the concepts expressed in the messaging platform.”

Mighty Insights

Insights, delivered.

Understanding how important consistency and repetition is in outreach, Every Body Texas keeps its mission at the forefront, allowing it to flow naturally into social media copy and campaign work. Whether reaching out to patients, healthcare practitioners, key stakeholders, or administrators, Every Body Texas’s core message is the same: People need access to safe, unbiased, high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

Every Body Texas has had their messaging platform for less than a year and in that time they’ve used it consistently. When creating their strategic plan for 2020-2024, they made sure that their goals aligned with the vision and values outlined in the messaging platform. When reaching out to shareholders in their 2019 annual report, the clarity of message and conviction from the messaging platform further helped Every Body Texas demonstrate their value to the community.

As an organization with a mission to support public health, Every Body Texas attracts talented, passionate employees. The messaging platform has allowed them to further sharpen their job descriptions and reach candidates that will continually push their mission forward. When onboarding new staff members, the messaging platform allows them to clearly communicate how they see themselves and what kind of world they want to create.

While all of the practical uses of a messaging platform are important, one of the most essential benefits is inspiration. Getting caught up in the day-to-day minutia is an inevitability of working. A document that codifies why you show up to work every day is a powerful antidote to drudgery and burn out.

It doesn’t matter if you’re onboarding, speaking at a conference, or setting the strategic direction of your organization, when you get the messaging right, the answers come naturally.

Need help with your messaging templates or core messaging? Check out our services and see how Mighty Citizen can help.


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