Key message training for an association’s Board of Directors is often thought as a tactic when the organization is in crisis communications mode. But the fact is, it is an essential aspect of effective communications and governance. It helps to ensure Board members are all on the same page and delivering a unified message to members and other key stakeholders.
Below are the top five benefits of key message training for an association’s Board of Directors:
1. Strategic Planning: when Board members are well-versed and comfortable in key messages, it helps align their decisions and actions with the association’s strategic goals. It also streamlines communications and ensures its an integral part of the planning process and any tactics implemented.
2. Clarity of Purpose: key message training helps Board members deliver consistent and succinct messaging around the association’s mission, vision, and any forward-looking statements to members, potential members, and other key audiences including the public, ensuring all that receive the message understand it and retain it.
3. Consistency in Messaging: Board members represent the association in various ways including public appearances, association events, and a range of other settings where they can advocate and speak to the association to increase visibility and interest. Key message training ensures all Board members convey a consistent and aligned message, which is essential to advocating for the association and maintaining or elevating it’s reputation within the industry and outside of it.
4. Stakeholder Engagement: Members are the lifeline of any association, and their support is vital. Through the Board, members need to understand the value of their membership, the work of the association and its industry prowess. Same goes for other key stakeholders, as Board members often interact with a wide range of audiences and its important to engage each audience to increase awareness for the association, its success and dominance in the industry.
5. Decision-Making Alignment: In the boardroom, key messages help align the directors’ decision-making processes with the association’s strategic priorities. This alignment is essential to make informed decisions that are consistent with the association’s mission and values.
The benefits of key message training for Board members also enables them to get comfortable with the key messages they are delivering to multiple audiences. This will help with member retainment and recruitment and increase the association’s industry impact and visibility.
Key messages are also essential for the Board’s spokesperson when delivering key news or being at the forefront of an industry or association discussion or issue to ensure clear and concise messaging. Or for accountability when Board members explain certain decisions or actions to members that aid in instilling trust among them.
Key messages for an association should be updated annually or bi-annually depending on the growth of the association, any strategic changes, or industry shifts, and then woven into all planning and communications. Therefore, Board members should be prepared to actively participate in annual key message training sessions – even a refresher to ensure existing and incoming new Board members are all on the same page and comfortable with the delivery of the association’s top key messages to stakeholders.
These sessions can be executed by the association’s marketing communications team or a third-party can be hired to lead the sessions and ensure the Board members are well-versed and prepared key message-wise.
By actively engaging in key message training sessions, Board members are empowered to fulfill their responsibilities, engage stakeholders, and contribute to the associations growth and ongoing success.