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guest blogger Brian Sooy – A Culture of Communication: Be Focused

May 28, 2014

Can you articulate your organization’s purpose (its cause and the reason that it exists), what it does (its mission), and why it matters (what difference it makes)?

If not—you’re not alone. We live in a world where we find it easy to change our focus and message to adapt to the circumstances and opportunities around us. Doing so creates confusion in the mind of our audience and followers; it is imperative that we remain focused.

The mission-driven organization creates a purpose-driven culture of communication when it focuses communications on one cause and one purpose; and shares it with one voice.

Many organizations struggle to create communication and design touch points that focus on the needs of the audience. Messaging must be focused on the target audience, through touch points that the audience interacts with.

Web sites must be designed to meet the needs of the audience: what they want from your organization, and then what the organization wants to share with them.

It’s a fair exchange. You get their attention by sharing what they want to hear, and by providing information that will benefit them. In the process, they learn more about how you can help them.

To begin a relationship, you need to know your audience. Your organizational voice should be speaking the language your audience speaks. Your voice needs to be heard where they are listening.

There must be a sustained and deliberate commitment to telling an effective story with a unique voice. Your organization must remain focused on the audience it is trying to reach, speaking the language of that community.

To communicate effectively, you have to eliminate possibilities in order to create opportunity. Think about the consumer experience (i.e., the consumers, donors or audience you want to reach) and then build your outreach around it. Eliminate what is trendy in favor of what is effective.

If you are true to your goal of lasting impact, then you must take a long-term view to your design and communication planning.

Stay focused. Make it easy for your audience to connect with your organization.


This article was adapted from the book Raise Your Voice: A Cause Manifesto, (RockBench, 2014), a framework for understanding how an organization’s purpose, character, culture, and voice can connect mission and audience more effectively.  The 12 twelve strategic, inspirational, relational, and aspirational principles of the Cause Manifesto empower leaders to create purpose-driven culture and communications, share their story more powerfully and effectively, and align their culture and communication strategy to the outcomes they are working to achieve.

© 2014 Brian Sooy


Brian Sooy is an entrepreneur, design professional, volunteer, donor and nonprofit board member. He is the principal of Aespire, the design and marketing firm that empowers mission-driven organizations to create purpose-driven culture through positioning, design, marketing, and web site development.


Twitter: @briansooy






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