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Never underestimate the importance of clear messaging

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Each day at 5pm, I watch the daily Government briefing on the latest steps regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, taking notes on the key points made and the ways in which the updates will affect our clients. While not every update leads to a significant change to their operations, there are often points that will be vital to each company’s brand messaging going forward, and the tone which it takes.

Now, more than ever, brands need to ensure that their message is concise and relevant. Consumers are hanging onto every word from brands right now, looking for some sort of indication as to what they can and cannot do. For that reason, it is vital that companies think carefully about what they’re saying and how they’re saying it.

We’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts for brands to ensure that their messaging is consistent, clear, and effective in the coming weeks and months.

Do 

  • Always have your audience at the forefront of your mind. Think about who your audience is and what they want to know. Will your latest update come as a surprise to them? Will they be pleased, or maybe confused? Think about how an outsider will interpret your statement and if that is the right message for your brand.
  • Think about what you’re going to say before you say it. How does the new messaging read in line with the current national situation, as well as the brand’s overall goals and objectives? Are there any conflicts between the two and if so, have you communicated the reason for this effectively?
  • Provide clear reasoning for any updates or changes to your current strategy. This is especially important during the current pandemic. The rules on what companies can and can’t do changes regularly and customers will want to know where you stand. If you have decided to change your current policies, explain why. Is it in line with the latest Government advice? Have you put new measures in place to allow for these changes to be implemented? Customers don’t want to be left asking questions following your updates, so make sure your statements include all the relevant information they need to know.

Don’t

  • Don’t use jargon. This is an easy trap to fall into at the best of times. When you spend so much time within a certain industry, it’s easy for key terms within that world to become part of your own everyday vocabulary. You must remember that customers may not be so familiar with such terms. Try to keep your messaging plain and simple, using language that is accessible and easy to understand.
  • Don’t ramble. Be clear and concise. While you want to ensure you’ve covered all bases, a statement which goes on for too long can just cause confusion. Make sure your statements include the key points you are trying to convey and the reasoning behind them.
  • Don’t be quiet. The only thing worse than a confusing message is no message at all. Your customers will want to hear something from you, even if that is to let them know that you currently don’t have an update. If you’re taking things slowly to ensure you get it right – tell them! Consumers don’t want to be left guessing what your next step is, so make sure they are kept in the loop.

If you need help identifying a clear message for your brand, drop us a line – hello@libertypr.co.uk.

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