People often ask us how to handle sending the same message to different audiences. Excellent question! First off, let’s talk about why it’s so important to deliver the same message even to different audiences. There are two main reasons: authenticity and consistency.
Authenticity. To say that we’ve grown more distrustful of companies, organizations, and politicians is like saying that Beyonce can carry a tune. To earn the trust of our understandably distrustful audiences, we must interact with the world in truly authentic ways. Meaning, we can’t simply try to sound authentic; we need to be authentic in what we do, how we do it, and how we talk about it.
Consistency. Along the same lines, saying one thing to one group of people and something different to another can project inauthenticity. Plus, data continuously show that messages require constant repetition; If the message is different, it doesn’t count. Finally, consistently presented brands are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility.
Have a Messaging Strategy
Having a messaging or brand strategy plays many critical roles, not the least of which is keeping everyone focused on who you are as an organization. Why do you do what you do? How do you do it differently than anyone else? What are the emotional drivers that best align with your identity? By focussing on the answers to those questions, your message to different audiences, even when reframed, stays authentic and consistent.
Let’s say that your organization focuses on addressing food insecurity and has personality attributes of, say, warm, studious, energetic, and optimistic. In that case, you have the ingredients you need to deliver the same message to different audiences. All you have to do is one, use tones that reinforce those personality attributes, and two, tie back the main idea to addressing food insecurity. For example:
Our work in the Northeast continues to support families in need, and in that, you should be a sense of satisfaction and pride. Still, we can always help more. Our capacity continues to improve each quarter, which helps us readjust our data models to have more reliable forecasts.
As many of you know, our numbers in the Northeast did not meet our quarterly targets. Whereas that is unfortunate, we should all keep in mind that we were still able to help many families who would have otherwise gone without. Based on readjustments to our data models, we are confident that we can create more accurate forecasts in the future.
In reality, what you’re doing is no different than what you do every day of your life. Think about all the people in your life your spouse, parents, children, colleagues, Starbucks baristas, dry cleaner, etc. You probably use different tones with each of them, but you’re still the same person, right? The same goes for your brand. Be the same organization; just speak a bit differently.