integrated communications strategy statement

In a recent blog post, we touched on how customers choose a brand based on what it represents or how it makes them feel. This is worth a deeper discussion, as “emotional intelligence” is the latest public relations industry buzzword.

While emotional intelligence was first coined in 1964 by clinical professor of psychology, Michael Beldoch, the term became the star of Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book, “Emotional Intelligence.” In the book, Goleman said emotional intelligence combines self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. In other words, it is the ability to understand how people, including ourselves, think and feel emotionally and how we use those emotions to react.

Our goal as marketing communication professionals is to inspire action. At WordWrite, we share authentic stories to move hearts and minds, which in turn inspires action, but doing so involves tapping into emotional intelligence.

After recently completing my graduate program at West Virginia University, I learned about a new tool called the integrated communication strategy statement (ICSS). While typically used to develop an integrated marketing campaign message, the simple Venn diagram can also be used to develop any communication, whether it’s for a product, service or company. Similarly, at WordWrite, we help our clients organize thoughts into memorable and repeatable messages through a message pyramid. The top of each message pyramid shares a company’s overarching statement, or the main message point you want people to take away from your communication efforts.

But it’s not always so easy to come up with an overarching statement. Here’s how the ICSS tool helps.

On the left side of the Venn diagram, start by listing rational benefits – what makes your product, service or company so valuable? This section describes characteristics, features, achievements and other unique aspects.

So what? Now, you need to think deeper to resonate with your target audience. How does your target audience think and feel about your product, service or company?

List those emotional benefits on the right side of the Venn diagram. In this section, rely on reviews or testimonials, demographic research, psychographic research or survey responses.

Once the Venn diagram is complete, you’re ready for the creative part: contemplating the rational and emotional benefits to derive one, succinct sentence. That sentence becomes your overarching message, or the top of your message pyramid.

Think you could use some guidance on crafting a unique, memorable and compelling message? That’s what WordWriters do best – we uncover, develop and share your company’s Capital S Story to reveal why someone would want to do business with you, partner with you and work for you.

Read more: Four Ways That Being In Public Relations Is Like Being a Backup Singer