The Message Map: How to Stay Focused and On Message

Technology has significantly impacted how we communicate today. That’s obvious. And more than that, it’s impacted the pace, frequency, the many ways and amount of communication we engage in on a 24/7 basis (if we want).

In all the many ways we communicate, how do we make sure we remain consistent with our message? For me, I’m writing blog articles, creating presentations, posting video messages, and preparing for podcast or media interviews every month. My challenge is how do I make sure I’m consistent from opportunity to opportunity when I’m trying to get my message out there?

I know I’m not alone.

A message map is a one-page document that outlines problems, solutions and benefits.

There’s a tool I use, and teach others, that helps keep me focused and stay on message. It’s called a message map, which is a one page document that has three main components:

  1. The problem or frustration that is out there among the people I’m looking to help and serve—authors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits—from a PR and marketing communications perspective.
  2. Solutions that are available as well as solutions I provide to help alleviate those frustrations and challenges.
  3. The results or benefits if that person or organization goes through those solutions.

Keep it high-level

When I create my message map for a particular audience I don’t get too far into the weeds. Some get hung up on wanting to include every last detail and piece of information. Keep it high level so we can keep it all on one page. This message map is simply a tool to help keep us focused so when we do open up that document and begin writing a blog post, creating a presentation, or getting ready for a podcast interview we have something to keep us between the guardrails.

As an example, I have a message map for when I’m communicating with authors.

  • Right now part of the challenge and frustration is that there’s been a 375 percent increase in the number of self-published books since 2010 (Bowker). There’s a ton of information out there and a lot of authors clamoring to get the awareness and attention they want through their book marketing efforts. How do they rise to the top and stay on message in the process?
  • For a first-time or new author, a solution is going through a program, or getting some sort of focus, guidance or advice. I don’t recommend hiring a full-time agency on an ongoing basis because a lot of these authors don’t have the resources to do that. However, there are programs out there such as my Bigger Stage program and Advisor Program to help them stay focused on how they can best get their message out, sell more books and grow their business.
  • Lastly, the benefits are more clarity, more confidence and more focus on where they should be spending their time getting more awareness, selling more books, and growing their business.

To check out my full one-page message map for authors, click here.

What tools do you use to help keep you on message and consistent from communication to communication?

Join the free Bigger Stage Tribe
Are you an author, entrepreneur, small business owner or nonprofit leader looking to leverage publicity and amplify your message? Consider joining the free Bigger Stage Tribe private Facebook group. This is a group for those who can’t afford (and shouldn’t hire) a full-time PR/marketing communications agency. This is a supportive, helpful and encouraging group where you come to learn, share ideas, support other members and have meaningful discussions about how to get your message and story out so you can amplify your message and grow your business.