Your agency’s mission statement can have new business value and measurable results.
A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person, its reason for existing. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. Wikipedia
The mission statement captures the heart of an organization, what it stands for and why it exists.
Here are some examples of the mission statements of popular digital businesses:
- Google. To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Twitter. We want to instantly connect people everywhere to what’s most important to them.
- Skype. Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.
- Yahoo. Yahoo is about making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining.
- Amazon. We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company for four primary customer sets: consumers, sellers, enterprises, and content creators.
Most ad agencies have a mission statement. Almost all are filled with wordy jargon that is often forgotten, misremembered or flatly ignored by staff and meaningless to prospective clients. Your mission statement should foster clarity.
Kevin Starr, executive director of the Mulago Foundation, has created a compelling approach to developing a focused and useful mission statement that warrants your attention. Mission statements in the social sector, similar to the ad industry, tend to be “the same kind of word-salad.” Starr insists that companies he funds, express their mission statement in under eight words.
“As investors in impact, we—the Mulago Foundation—don’t want to wade through a bunch of verbiage about “empowerment,” “capacity-building,” and “sustainability”—we want to know exactly you’re trying to accomplish. We want to cut to the chase, and the tool that works for us is the eight-word mission statement.”
The Starr Method: Clients must follow this format: “Verb, target, outcome.”
It’s long enough to be definitive and short enough to force clarity. This concise method is a fresh approach to developing a useable mission statement that will clarify thinking and keep your agency focused on a single issue.
One of the largest agency networks, is Leo Burnett Worldwide. The agency, founded in 1935 in Chicago by Leo Burnett, now had 85 offices and 9,000+ employees. Leo Burnett celebrated its’ 67th anniversary by unveiling a new mission statement. The new mission statement, simply declares:
“We create ideas that inspire enduring belief.”
How long is your agency’s current mission statement? Do you think you could get it down to under 8 words using the “verb, target, outcome” format?
Try this exercise and share it through the comments’ section below.