A messaging session is a chance to really get to know you and your brand inside and out, in one focussed session.
Using a messaging session we’re able to very quickly get all of the information we need without multiple follow-ups. We will also ask you the key questions you might not have been asked for a while – such as how do you sum up what you do in one line? (It’s also fine if you don’t have everything buttoned down – we can discuss and help hone in the session).
And feedback from clients has been great as it gives them a rare chance to pause and focus on their brand and interrogate their messaging.
When do you hold one?
We usually hold one when we first start working with a client, or when there’s something new to communicate – such as a rebrand or new product. With one client we helped to launch we then held a messaging session 12 months in, after their proposition had shifted slightly and they had sharpened up a focus on key target audiences. It helped to ensure we were all on track and communicating the right thing.
How and why do you use the approach?
We currently hold sessions virtually over video, which works really well. We lead them and the key decision makers take part. In “normal” times we get together in person. We allow around three hours.
Our structure takes into account three key lenses:
LENS 1: INSIDE OUT – everything around your company, people and product.
LENS 2: OUTSIDE IN – all external factors including competitors and opportunities.
LENS 3: HINDSIGHT – learning from past experiences, good and bad.
What preparation is needed?
The beauty of the sessions is that there’s no great preparation needed from your side. In fact, it’s most useful hearing verbatim from you and having a dialogue rather than anything preprepared. Sometimes this means messages evolve during the session.
We will ask all the key questions, write up the answers live and do a full summary afterwards. Obviously feel free to bring information along as a prompt if you’d prefer.
The messages used in marketing might be slightly different to PR messages, as they may need more interrogation. For example, if you claim something we will check the claim can be substantiated. As that’s exactly what journalists would do if we were pitching to them.
Oh, and it’s worth bringing coffee!
What does a messaging session achieve?
As well as getting all the key information out and discussed, it helps us to create ownable messages and angles for you. From the Three Lens Messaging Session we create a PR plan with themes and hooks as well as key media to target.
The write up can also be used to create a content plan for your own channels. This could include an email or newsletter marketing plan or content for your website. It’s a useful document that holds the main things you’re trying to say about your brand.
Feedback has also been that getting decision makers together and focusing on your brand makes for a useful session. It’s an open discussion and gets everyone invested in the process.