Develop a Messaging Document to Keep Your Printing Company “On Message”

Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka showed savvy salesperson Zoot how to use multimedia to create compelling case studies. This week, Marka tells Zoot and FEI tribe leader Org how creating a messaging document can help keep FEI on message. Remember, fire = print.

One afternoon in Org’s office, Org and Zoot were discussing a problem they’d noticed with some of FEI’s customer-facing employees.

“Frankly, some of our customer-service staff can’t even properly articulate what we do—and why customers should care,” Zoot said. “Yesterday I overheard a CSR trying to explain FEI to a prospective customer. The best she could come up with: FEI is an ‘awesome fire-lighting company.’”

“This is a real problem,” Org said. “Every FEI customer touch point—from our salespeople to our business cards to our outbound marketing communications—potentially influences how our brand is perceived in the marketplace. Everyone at FEI must be singing the same song—a Greek chorus, if you will—about who we are, what we do, and how customers benefit from using us. And that song must be clear and articulate. How do we make this happen?”

At this point Marka happened to stroll by Org’s office. “I have an idea,” she said. “Let’s create a document that everyone at FEI can use to stay on message. This guide will help our salespeople and other customer-facing employees ensure they’re saying the right things that advance our company’s core beliefs, commitments, and value proposition. For the marketing department, a messaging document will guide us toward creating content —outbound communications, ads, press releases, even blogs and social media posts—that’s in line with the way FEI works and thinks.”

“It certainly sounds like a good idea,” Org said. “What will this messaging guide contain?”

“Good question.” Marka sneaked behind Org and began writing on the whiteboard behind him. “An effective messaging document should include the following…”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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