What are you looking for?

What’s the Best Way to Use Your Key Messages in Video?

Posted by on June 24th, 2013
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Messaging, Nonprofit Web, Performing Arts, Storytelling, Videos   

Videos don’t have to be highly produced to send effective messages; they just need deliberate wording that helps solidify your reputation.

If you want a video to get people interested in your work, you have to be crystal clear in the messages you send them.

With video, your audiences will simultaneously see and hear the story of your organization. These short videos—which ideally last for no more than 3 minutes—dispense fundamental information about your organization’s impact.

With such a short length of time, you need to choose every word carefully.

Our Minute Message Model™ spells out a way to share information about your organization based on a hierarchy of importance. Your first message should explain your organization’s vision, your second should define the problem or opportunity your organization addresses, and your third should include a story that demonstrates your impact.

We call this the Minute Message Model because it explains how to share a powerful idea whether you have one minute, three (in the case of a video), ten, or more. Below are a few well-executed examples of the model in videos:

1. Joanna Murray, CEO of The Leadership Investment (formerly Women’s Vision Foundation), used the Minute Message Model seamlessly on Denver’s ABC 7 News. She explained that women in leadership roles enhance the business world, and elaborated on how her organization helps women attain those positions.

Though we helped Murray carefully craft each word in these messages, she memorized them so her presentation didn’t come across as rehearsed. She speaks naturally, using terms like “shared leadership model” and “mentor, inspire, and connect” that strike at the heart of her organization’s reason for being.

2. We also helped Women’s Vision Foundation rebrand, which included a new name. When they became The Leadership Investment this June, they created a video that used our Minute Message Model to great effect. Their Belief Message clearly communicates the value of their work, while the Problem Message explains why they’re needed.

Without mentioning a single programmatic detail, The Leadership Investment team conveys their infectious passion for women’s career advancement. The video aims to galvanize the organization’s audiences, so they’ll be on board with the new name, logo, and other brand elements.

3. After its own rebranding effort led by Mission Minded, the legal professional association NALP also created a video. NALP’s many different faces convene to talk about the organization’s belief in diversity and support of legal employees’ professional development. Note that a variety of people deliver the messages Mission Minded helped them craft. They could have had one person deliver the whole spiel, but instead, they made it more interesting by including an array of staff and board members who are recognizable to NALP’s membership.

4. Performing Arts Workshop, which brings art into the classrooms of low-income kids, uses a Problem Message prominently in its video, which was created in partnership with Cara Jones at Storytellers for Good.

In a time when public arts education receives decreasing funding, the organization creates urgency by highlighting that void. By juxtaposing its work with the negative repercussions of a world without art, the Workshop shows why it exists and why its audiences should help them solve the problem.

It’s critical for you to send smart, consistent messages about your organization through all media, especially video. For more insight, take a look at this messaging model in more depth or our marketing guide to create your own messaging that’s memorable.


Jennie Winton is a Founding Partner of Mission Minded, a 25-year marketing veteran sought for her expertise in branding nonprofit organizations, and a one-on-one leadership coach.

See all posts by