Mission Possible: How to Craft Your Mission Statement
Not everybody has time to listen to a company’s entire marketing pitch. Sometimes a representative only has a few seconds to communicate the whole offering. That’s why it’s important to boil your organization’s entire existence down to a clear, concise mission statement.
A good mission statement is an invaluable tool in your business or non-profit’s marketing efforts. One of the first sections of your website visitors will go to find out more information is the mission statement. When you need to sell a prospect on your business, the mission statement does just that. When you want others to join your opt-in SMS group, the mission statement will be your primary argument. Simply put: the mission statement is how a company gets its foot in the door.
When you sit down to write your mission statement there are a few pieces of information you want to make sure to include. First, ask yourself some basic questions about your company. Focus on the “Six W’s” of journalism:
- Who, or who are you?
- What, or what do you do?
- Where, or where are you located?
- When, or when were you established?
- Why, or why is your organization doing this?
- How, or how do you plan to achieve your goals?
From there, ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?” with “them” being the prospective customers, donors, or volunteers. It’s fine to self-promote, but if your mission statement cannot show a benefit for the audience then your mission is not fully developed. Finally, ask yourself, “How are we different from similar companies?” In the nonstop quest to capture attention it is only those organizations that set themselves apart from the pack that enjoy the most consistent success.
When you’ve answered these simple questions you are ready to compile those answers into a neat and tidy package: the mission statement. Your mission statement need not be long. One long sentence or two moderate sentences is an appropriate length. But much like the call to action, any statement that relies on brevity makes choosing the right words that much more important.
One last thing when writing your mission statement: avoid corporate clichés. We’ve all seen them; we know them well. Slipping any such buzzword into your mission statement is a sign of insincerity in what should be one of your most sincere marketing pieces. When in doubt make the language as plain as possible. People appreciate plain language, perhaps more than you think.
It might take a little introspection to craft the best mission statement for you. Great! If you learn something new about your organization through this process, it can only help you stay more committed to your mission. Share what you have learned about yourself with your customers and they will likely share it with others.