Texans are big on straight talk. If your message is not straightforward and relevant, your initiative, project, or campaign won’t get the attention and traction required to succeed in the Lone Star State.
Effective content requires taking a strategic and disciplined approach. Your message needs to be clearly researched, focused, proactive, and consistent. That means knowing your issue inside and out, understanding your opposition, identifying your target audience, and honing your content to deliver your desired outcome. And that requires a sophisticated partner with a deep bench of experienced communications experts.
A strong content strategy is vital for your success in Texas, and message discipline is central to ensuring your content is effective. By sticking with core messages and not being distracted by external noise, you can set yourself apart, establish credibility, and reach your intended audiences.
Develop Your Content Like You’re Constructing a House
Think about the attention to detail and order that goes into building a house. The foundation is poured, the framing goes up one floor at a time, you enclose the exterior, attach a roof, install the electrical and mechanical systems, and then bring in the fixtures and finishing touches.
You wouldn’t start building a house without architectural plans. You wouldn’t put up walls before pouring the foundation. The same goes for crafting an effective content plan and a disciplined messaging strategy. You shouldn’t start creating and dispensing content without identifying your desired outcome and developing a plan and process to follow.
Building your “messaging house” is a proven strategy for creating effective content plans for companies doing business in Texas. A messaging house conveys your company identity (the foundation), as well as the most critical things to know about your positions (the messaging pillars).
Messaging Discipline Keeps You From Getting Distracted
With so much riding on your Texas initiative, you can’t afford to approach your content or its distribution in any way other than strategically and methodically.
In such a competitive marketplace like Texas, there are simply too many ways your message can get derailed, diluted, or completely ignored. The advantages of disciplined messaging are many, but the key upsides include:
- Establishing yourself as a credible resource
- Clearly articulating why your issue/position matters
- Achieving message “stickiness” through repetition
- Persuading neutral or indifferent groups or individuals to support you
- Keeping emotion out of the equation when things get heated
- Knowing when or whether to engage the opposition
And with so much content competing for attention, it’s the disciplined message that is more likely to resonate and be remembered. You can rest easy if a popular tweet or a viral video runs contrary to what you’re trying to accomplish. More often than not, that’s just noise. Disciplined, consistent messaging and content will win the day.
Don’t Risk Winging it With Your Messaging in Texas
The process of disciplined messaging starts with research. With so much riding on the key pillars of your communications campaign, you need to establish messages you know will resonate. You need to know what you don’t know. You need to know what others might say about you or your initiative. And you need to formulate your messaging so that’s all taken into account.
As a first step, you will need a landscape assessment as a component of your research. But broadly speaking, a vulnerability assessment provides a review and analysis of:
- Media coverage (Nexis, Google, Internet archives, TVEyes, Meltwater)
- Direct quotations (Op-Eds, speeches, press statements, correspondence)
- Social media coverage (Facebook, blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Public records (legal databases, online databases, FOIAs)
- Idenfity the key players (major stakeholders, trade associations, elected officials)
- Political contributions (local, state, and federal)
- Financial disclosures (asset searches, personal financial disclosures, state/county/local property listings, SEC and FEC)
- Lobbying records
- Personal, political and business associations
- Votes, budgets, attendance and statements in public meetings
- Environmental citations, OSHA violations
That initial research is used to gain an understanding of the landscape, the history of an issue, and a familiarity with the characteristics of a market, but public opinion research, such as surveys and focus groups , allows you to test your messaging and understand what really resonates. When you’ve done the research, you don’t waste time on something only 3% of people say they care about or random social media posts.
Message Discipline is Your Best Defense Against the Opposition
Critics or opponents are often very poorly coordinated, have differing priorities, and are willing to take shortcuts with the truth. This leaves them vulnerable, no matter how “loud” they are on social media or during public comment at a city council meeting, especially if you can share facts and data that matter and stick to the script.
Consistency and repetition are crucial aspects of message discipline, helping drive your points home and forcing opponents to catch up to you. This approach keeps the opposition on their heels and allows you to stay in control of the campaign narrative.
Message discipline also thickens your skin, leaving you less vulnerable to ad hominem attacks on your initiative. Your position is backed by facts; your opponents trade on emotion and will have a hard time making their points stick.
Slow Down. Catch Your Breath. Discipline Will Win the Day.
The world is awash in content on every channel. You need your content to be effective and create a lasting impact.
Every item distributed should have meaning and specific intent. Content should be researched, factual and proactive. Content that is reactive is only a response. Set the message and tone from the outset and require others to challenge your bully pulpit.
Slow down, take a breath, while your competition panics over social media. An outside partner comes in with disciplined strategy and content. If you want to hear about how engaging The Monument Group leads to more disciplined messaging and more successful outcomes, let’s talk.