the meaning gap

Before starting Message Glue, we worked as subcontractors to a lot of agencies and producers. After a while, a pattern emerged: we found we had different methods of fulfilling clients’ needs. This is not to say we think the folks who were kind enough to hire us were wrong. We’ve simply learned that, because of the combination of our backgrounds, experiences and philosophy, our approach is different. And we learned it by being told exactly that by our clients.

A few months ago I had the good fortune to have lunch with someone who had “done what we do” in corporate communications. His background was Presidential speechwriting, but he’d worked in corporate America for over a decade after hanging up his quill.

He asked me to describe what we do, and I did my usual stammering routine of “Well, it’s creative, but it’s deeper communication consulting, it’s finding emotionally connected ways to convey…well, it’s NOT just video production, although we’ve done some cool videos, NOT just events but we work at events, etc.” He listened patiently, for which I’ll be forever grateful. Then he stopped me (also grateful for that). He simply said, “You do the hard part.”

I imagined myself in an elevator and someone asking “What do you do?” I would reply, “Uh…well…the hard part.” That wasn’t going to work. But then (again, thankful) he continued, “You do the meaning part. There’s a ton of value in that. So tell me again… but show me the value.”

I did…then went home and turned it into this illustration. In this scenario, you dear reader, are our client, or prospective client.

That’s you, up on the left. Your company, your products and services, your brand, your culture, executives, initiatives, news…your messages.

And across the chasm, on the right, is your audience. They might be internal, they might be external, they might be both.

Your messages must reach (and stick to) your audience. So, you employ traditional and modern technological means to deliver them: Video, PowerPoint, Conference Calls, Live events, Social Media, Meetings, etc.

Between that delivery mechanism and your messages is the space we call “The Meaning Gap.” Once those messages come out of your heads on the left, and before they’re delivered to your audience on the right, they must become meaningful.

And that’s where Message Glue comes in. We fill up the meaning gap. By utilizing the collaboration of our brains and your brains, we turn your messages into meaningful communication that adheres to your audience. And that meaning flows both ways. It not only has to be meaningful to them, but also to you…to your execs…to anyone involved in its delivery.

The gap gets filled with “Executive Comfort onstage and onscreen.” Through coaching and content development, we give execs the skills to be more comfortable and engaged, even if they’re just on a global conference call. We’ll help to find your stories, then help you become great storytellers…and while doing so, we’ll extract the full value of each of exec’s unique personality. We organize and craft your messages, write scripts, and provide creative guidance and production that is based on, and determined by, all of the above.

We agree with the ex-presidential speechwriter…that is the hard part. But it’s also the meaningful part. It’s the part that unifies all of your messages and connects you with your audience. And that’s when actionable engagement happens.

A few months ago one of our global clients told us, “You’re the only vendor we have that actually cares about us. You actually want us to improve and get better.” Talk about meaningful.

And that…is why we started Message Glue.
 

The Meaning Gap, or Why We Started Message Glue

One thought on “The Meaning Gap, or Why We Started Message Glue

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm
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    Well I for one am grateful you created Message Glue. My guess is that I’m one of the few people (thus far!) who have used Ken’s magnificent talents in creating a unique & compelling speaking presentation (the even greater value I got from Ken came via his myriad suggestions that I never would have come up with on my own) and Anna — who coached me so well with my presentation that I received a standing ovation my first speech following my sessions. You guys do all the “hard stuff” and make it look easy. I know for certain that it’s not easy at all.

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