Once you have a clear, consistent visual presence, you’re on the right track – but looking great is only valuable if you sound great too. Consistent messaging that is aligned with your brand’s look is the second piece of the puzzle. Regardless of what type of organization you are, your messaging should be four things: credible, memorable, distinctive and sustainable. Your words drive your message, and your visuals are the support beams.

To create a successful brand, you’ll need a few standard messages that will deliver a cohesive message through various media outlets: a tagline is typically used on promotional materials, an elevator speech for face-to-face networking and a boilerplate for press releases and informational materials. Each of these messages is an essential part of your brand.

1. Craft a tagline.

This should be the key phrase that identifies your organization by capturing the essence of three elements: your mission, your promise and your brand. Think of it as your “branding slogan.”

Your tagline shouldn’t be generic; you want it to be relevant and special to your organization. If several other organizations in your field could potentially use it, it’s not for you. Your tagline should highlight what makes your organization unique.

Tip: Try to make your tagline less than 8 words.

2. Write your elevator speech.

This should be a short, accurate explanation of your organization that is easy to say and remember. Anyone who advocates on behalf of your brand should be ready to share it at a moment’s notice. A polished elevator speech is the perfect opportunity to tell anyone and everyone why they should care about your organization. Tip: Make it 15-30 seconds long—enough time to make a lasting first impression.

3. Develop your boilerplate.

Your boilerplate serves as a comprehensive overview of your organization—and should always incorporate how it is a part of the bigger picture.

The boilerplate is the final stamp on every press release, and will most likely appear in thousands of places across the web as a direct result of your regular public relations activities. Be sure it incorporates all of the facts (who, what, when, where, why), as well as a compelling position statement that sets you apart from your competition.

Once you discover your identity and messaging, follow through with actions. It’s true that well-written copy can motivate your audience. However, if you fall short of your values and promises it won’t be long until your insincerity becomes transparent and your trustworthiness diminishes. Your brand is the most important asset of your organization—work tirelessly to drive it forward and make an impact with it every day. While building and communicating your brand is imperative, following through with action is what builds credibility and loyalty.

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What’s next?

Branding 101: Provide Materials to Inform Your Brand Ambassadors