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The mission statement

As an organisation, what is your purpose?

This is the first and most important marketing question you need to ask yourself before anything else.

There’s an old saying that if you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which road you take. A vision or mission statement therefore provides a valuable rallying point for all the stakeholders in your organisation, particularly by:

Explaining what business and activities you actually do.

Motivating and providing a shared sense of purpose for everyone’s efforts.

Having a clear idea of a mission statement that everyone understands will make any decision-making much easier, any goals and targets can be based around this.

If you’re a support organisation you may already have a mission statement in place (as well as a vision and values). For example, it may be to provide resources to help frontline charities improve their effectiveness and improve the lives of their communities.

At Media Trust, our mission statement is:

Working with media organisations and charities to enhance their communications and enable communities to find their voice and make it heard.

Many in the third sector struggle to define what success actually looks like. Creating a mission statement and achieving that mission is as good a way as any…


Do it yourself?

You don’t make your mission statement too long. A paragraph, maybe two is all you really need. That way, it’s easy to remember and weave into the fabric of your marketing strategy.

Whether you’re re-assessing your current objectives, or sitting down to create new ones, here are some questions to guide you.

What business are you in? A second tier support organisation is in the business of helping frontline charities. But what is the actual benefit of that help and support? It’s very important to qualify the difference you make in real terms.

What are your business aspirations? Again, these need to be based around the fulfillment of your customers’ needs. For a support organisation you might want to be considered the first port of call for local charities in need of marketing help.

What key words describe your offering? It’s really important to be clear and simple here. Talk to customers in their language not yours. If they call it a spade, don’t call it an earth removal tool.

What do you do with it? A mission statement and its objectives are the first and most important ingredient in any marketing plan.

But aside from that, your mission statement is something you need to communicate as often as possible to as many people as possible. You should also revisit your mission statement every year. Are you holding true to its principles? Do those principles need to change?

The Chartered Institute of Marketing have a whole section dedicated to missions statements, planning and strategy that is well worth investigating.