As a copywriting agency, mission/vision statements fall deeply—and delightfully—into our purview. The other day, I sat down and wrote ours:
Most words are filler. A $100 million company*, MarketSmiths turns them into crisp little engines of strategy. In doing so, we employ 1,000 writers*, cultivating a fun, nimble, thoughtful, and intensely productive “copy bureau” at the top of Union Square, NYC. By working with mission-driven brands and companies, we’ve helped restore power to the written word—and solidified our craft as crucial, vigorous leverage for commerce.
Do you like it? I hope so. Part of our classroom work, our mission/vision statements triggered a vote in my Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. New friends—my fellow entrepreneurs—found it simultaneously inspiring and concrete. For any copywriter, that’s a nice compliment—and a sure sign of success.
The Swell of Human Emotion, Anchored
Mission statements aren’t intended to be literal. Their job is to say what you’re up to in the world (aka, your mission), launching a wave of emotion—and a solid sense of how your company contributes to the value of the human race. I’m not overstating this. I always direct our copywriters to go for goosebumps. Done well, readers should want to join you, to help you, to buy from you, to spread the word, to get involved.
At the same time, a great mission statement won’t leave your audience skeptical or mystified. It’s anchored by concepts that are tangible, literal, and concrete. In MarketSmiths’ statement, tangible elements are:
You don’t have to guess what we do (we’re writers). You get a snapshot of our culture, our team, our office—enough to give a few cues, and leaving the details for your mind to fill in. Because it’s also a vision statement, I threw in some hardcore goals. Done: five easy sentences.
In the next post, I’ll break the process down so that your team can write a powerful mission/vision statement—and use it to guide and inspire.
* This isn’t us now. This is where we’re going. Ergo: our vision.
Ready to write your own mission statement? Follow the link below!