To encourage the women of the Johns Hopkins University basketball team in Baltimore, Maryland, Head Coach, Nancy Funk, displays a new, inspirational decal on the locker room wall every year. Her choice to use the quote, “Win the Day” is an uplifting saying which helps members to make each day successful not only on the court, but in all they do! This quote was created with WiseDecor’s help using Black, Trajan Pro font in 4.5 inch lettering
Discover more about Johns Hopkins women’s basketball team by visiting their website.
The problem most of us have with writing impactful mission statements, vision statements, About Us, or other organizational descriptors is that we are too close to the topic. We end up talking about ourselves and using too much lingo.
People’s natural inclination is to only pay attention to three types of information: valuable, entertaining, or threatening.
Valuable means it quickly taps into a need or interest. If you are a health insurance broker and I’m the person scrambling to find an affordable policy, your headline that addresses that need is valuable.
Entertaining is somewhat self-explanatory but tricky today. Know the norms of your audience. What will they think is entertaining versus distasteful or boring. Many companies successfully build brand awareness with cute videos.
Threatening does not mean you threaten your potential customer. If you address a problem, you must state the threat and your solution to get attention. For example, a hunger relief organization must speak to the number of hungry people. A pest control firm must show the damage termites can do to a structure.
Brainstorm around the problems you address and ways you serve the world. Then write some practice sentences that cover the who, what, why, how you solve problems or prevent them.
We’re here to help you polish it all up for the world to see. Enjoy the process as you go along.
The mission statement should describe in one (two if needed) sentence how, who, where about your organization. It is also important to reveal what’s unique about your endeavor.
Describing the unique aspect is like a special call for your audience, i.e. customers, clients, followers.
A community might have five or more organizations tackling the same problem as you. What’s the differentiator that helps people know you are right for them?
When writing for our clients we use a phone or email interview process to ask the questions you want customers to ask you. This helps us draw out what’s unique.
Make a quick list of what makes you different from others. Think about how you do things, where you do them, who you specialize in serving, why you do what you do.
Here are a few recent examples from our files to get your mental juices flowing:
________ is a minority owned geotechnical and environmental engineering firm. Our loyal client relationships result from consistent delivery of practical, cost-effective solutions by a rapidly expanding team of passionate engineers and scientists across fourteen states.
__________ is a SBA certified Woman Owned Small Business and a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business driven to deliver high quality CMMI® integration consulting and process improvement appraisals to the IT industry, since 2006.
______ provides friendly and helpful in-person assessments on behalf of financial institutions with out-of-touch customers.
Contact Carla Harper for help. She’s standing by to guide your process.
No one knows your business or organization better than you, which is why you need help writing anchor descriptions such as mission and vision statements, a tagline, and about us. You are likely too close to the information and ideas.
The greatest value a writer can bring to you is an ability to sculpt or whittle your words into a few concise, impactful sentences. Before the sculpting can occur, you must have something to work with. Like the sculptor has marble, you have words and images.
Creating that base can be done through an interview or discovery process with a writer, alone, or with your core team. The idea is to get the words out and captured in a document.
Sometimes the questions that come up through an interview or in a brainstorming session prompt ideas, words, or even imagery that had not occurred to you before.
Expect the following in your process to get from base of many words to winning mission and vision statements:
- A few hours to brainstorm, react to, and edit your content
- At least three rounds of editing
- Clarity around what you do as the words come together in a cogent, repeatable fashion
Content matters. If you are not clear on your mission and vision, how can you expect to attract others to join your enthusiasm?
We’re here to help. Reach out to us here.