Writing a Mission Statement

Writing A mission Statement

Why am I in business? What is my purpose?  What is my goal?

  • How and why would the ordinary citizen (or reader) be interested in my organization? 
  • How can I show that my organization is user-friendly? 
  • What should the reader know about my organization to prove that my organization is Friendly?  Helpful?  Valid?  Altruistic?

What can I offer my client that is special or unique?  Why would anyone trust my company or organization?  Why would one want to choose my company or organization over another? 

Writing a mission statement.  Ideally, my mission statement will be able to provide that answer – at least so that the curious reader will want to contact me.

All of these characteristics should be visible in a mission statement that you write for your organization.

Focus on the reader.  The mission statement should be focused on the reader – on the client you are trying to reach.  What would the reader want to read?  If you focus on the reader in all that you do, then you have a great chance of being successful.

Your purpose.  The mission statement is a concise and clear statement of purpose.  It should provide the most value for the few words included in the mission statement.  That becomes a challenge in itself.

Reading a variety of mission statements might be one of the best ways to go about creating and writing a mission statement for your own purposes.

Here is one from a hospital.  Consider who is the client of the hospital?

  • Someone who is ill and want to be treated in a caring, expert, and professional manner.
  • Someone who wants to feel special – that his or her needs are the most important.

The following hospital is located in “cottage country” where many of the surrounding population are residents only in the summer months.  They are wanting a “home away from home.” Can this organization provide that?   Does the following mission statement satisfy you?

The West Parry Sound Health Centre — helping you to ‘stay put’ in Canada’s rugged grandness.
Providing extraordinary support for health services in cottage country.

Here is the mission statement of Rotary International:

Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self.

Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.

And the following:

What would it take to change the world? Rotary's 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self.  In more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, you'll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio.

 Here is the statement from Exxon Mobil –in a logo format:

Writing a mission statement

Writing your statement.  Certainly, the more succinct - and the more memorable - the better.  You want to be able to

  • capture the “mission” – your company’s vision – in as few words as possible, and
  • make the “feeling” and the “emotion”  flow from the words through to the reader. 
  • give a sense of purpose through the words you choose for your mission statement.

Focus the reader.  Instill confidence for your company in the reader’s mind – and do that clearly with as few words as possible.

Visibility.  When you seek out a new company, you should be able to see the mission statement clearly.  You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – so take the opportunity to focus on that first impression.  It’s important!

Remember the reader.  The reader, typically, does not want to read.  The reader wants the information to read itself – and your writing and your format can achieve that goal – believe it or not.  Some documents are far easier to read because they actually almost read themselves to the reader.

That should be your goal in all you do, including writing a mission statement.

For a mission statement -

  • begin with the reader’s benefits – and what the reader wants –
  • keep the mission statement short enough to have a very positive impact upon the reader
  • be sure that your vision flows through your words to your reader

LINK - Return from Writing a Mission Statement to Professional Technical Writing

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