Although encyclopedia sets have gone the way of the dinosaur, I hope to save the thesaurus from extinction. For me, it is a tool I will never retire. My trusty Roget’s has been with me since I won it in the sixth-grade spelling bee, and its pages are well-worn from helping me out when I’m feeling tongue-tied. Working in communications, I’ve learned how you say something is equally important as what you say. Getting just the right word can make or break your message.
Recently, a friend shared with me a website with a list of hospital and health system taglines, collected from around the US. I marveled at how many different ways there were to say, “We provide good care,” with a surprisingly small amount of overlap. As we at CCMU have been working to refresh our brand over the past several months, we have been faced with the same questions all these hospitals faced at one point or another. What makes us different than everyone else, and how can we express that succinctly? How do we talk about our work, and are the words we choose affecting our ability to carry out our mission? It has been an important exercise of introspection and soul-searching for CCMU as we put pen to paper to develop our key messages.
Effective communication has become both an art and a science, pairing research and polling on audience preferences with skillful wordsmithing to create statements that pack a punch. Sometimes that punch is the good kind, which increases civil conversation and healthy debate. Other times, it is incendiary and provocative, dividing us into camps and pitting us against each other. Words have great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. So, the question we all face is, what do we aim to do with the words we choose?
So here is our commitment to you: we will continue to choose our words carefully. We will aim to inform the discussion, invite participation, and inspire action to improve care for the underserved across Colorado. We will offer a big-picture view to help people find middle ground. We believe that together, we can make real change happen.
Every good marketer wants their work to be memorable. Do you recognize any of these Colorado taglines and key messages?