How to tell your organisation’s story more powerfully


I am going to plagiarise. Actually, I’m not. I’m going to share with you someone else’s interesting thoughts about how to develop an elevator pitch, but I won’t pass those thoughts off as my own. But I wish I’d had ‘em!

What I am sharing was originally designed to help industry organisations and peak bodies, but I think it works equally well for businesses and other organisations that need to promote themselves to their constituencies.

I attended a conference that was aimed at leaders of industry associations. Fascinating to see around 100 GMs and CEOs and Exec Directors, all of whom shared similar issues about how to run an association effectively and profitably (and deal with their boards – but that’s another story!)

Anyway, one of the presenters was talking about demonstrating your association’s value to members and prospective members. An easy way to do that, she said, is to answer the following questions:
• Describe exactly what it is you do
• Describe precisely who you do it for
• Tell me what you do for members that they can’t do for themselves
• Outline how your association is different to any similar bodies
• Tell me how your members are better off by being members of your association

And you have to answer those questions honestly, and from a member’s perspective, not your own.

The above is not a mission statement or a vision. It’s a sales pitch that outlines why members should keep on paying their subs. Like I said, it works just as well for other types of organisations.

And you should be able to distil it down to one sentence. For example, an association that represents speakers and presenters says this about itself:
• ‘We help our members to speak more, to speak better and to make more money’.

Another association says this about itself:
• ‘We help our members to work less stressfully, more profitably and more productively’.

In both cases there is a strong value proposition attached to the membership proposition.

For a small business like mine we could say about ourselves:
• ‘Our PRINZ training and our 30 years + experience means we do things faster and more efficiently, saving you time and money.’

What’s your value proposition?