I Can’t Believe You Said That! How to Master Message Management

Adam Scott

Aussie Adam Scott won The Masters and showed great use of message management during interviews.

Message management is how well a person stays on point with a message.

Every message has an objective. The message can be spoken, written or expressed visually. The effectiveness of the message is by how well it achieves your objective.

For example, a sales manager has the objective to make a connection with a prospect, establish a business relationship and to close the deal. Sales managers are some of the best at message management. Through years of trial and error they have figured out what to say and what not to say in order to make a sale. 

Staying On Point With Every Message

For business leaders, one of the main objectives is keeping every aspect of communication on point. Every message communicated to customers must be congruent with one another.

When messages differ, customers can become confused. Even worse, if messages go off track it could do damage to the brand’s reputation.

Message management can be difficult for businesses of all sizes, but the larger the corporation the more difficult the task becomes.

For example, Disney is one of the biggest brands in the world. The company has multiple divisions. From parks to television to merchandise, the leaders at Disney have the incredible task of message management.

Yet Disney is a clear example of a company that gets it right.

The message is clear: Quality entertainment for every member of the family.

Think about every message consumers see from Disney. Every member of their leadership that speaks publicly stays on point that everything they do is entertainment for the entire family. Every piece of advertising and marketing stays on point.

The theme parks are about experiencing the magic of Disney in person. Whenever we hear about the parks we get a little glimpse into what it’s like. The company doesn’t share too much. They don’t share everything they could share with consumers. They only share what they should. That gets people interested.

Message management concerns only what customers want to hear. You don’t have to share too much and you especially don’t want to share what can get you in trouble or in the bad graces of customers.

The concept is simple in theory, but it takes understanding and practice to perfect the art of controlling your message.

Aussie Adam Scott Wins The Masters

Last month it was great to see Adam Scott became the first Australian golfer to win The Masters. It had been the one tournament that had eluded us for a long time..

Perhaps the biggest heartbreak stories came from Greg Norman who had a string of bad breaks and unfortunate outcomes at one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world.

Fortunes changed when Adam Scott sank the clinching birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Angel Cabrera for the win. It was a defining moment for the golfer and for Australia – on par with Australia II winning in 1983.

After the tournament Scott was asked to participate in the usual post-round interviews.

In every interview Scott showed his poise even while experience intense emotions. He was able to control his message.

Here is one of the post-round interviews.

Adam Scott’s Dreams Come True

The message here for Scott is that he has just accomplished an extraordinary feat. He won The Masters.

But beyond that message were many layers.

This was a Masters victory for Australia.

This was a victory for everyone in Scott’s life who has helped him become one of the best golfers in the world.

It was also defeat for other respected golfers.

During the interview there were opportunities for Scott to go off course and give viewers too much information, not enough information or information they didn’t want to hear.

Scott performed well on the course and he did exceptionally well in his post-round interviews. There are four elements of his victory that he focused on that helped him stay on message

First, he talks about the feeling of having a dream come true. He stays right on point saying it’s better than he ever imagined. This is all people want to hear. We want to know that achieving a dream is even better than we could ever imagine. It gives us hope for our own lives and that’s why we tune in to watch sports. Adam Scott overcame struggle to win. That is why we watch.

Second, Adam goes through his thought process during the key moments. He shares his exact thought, which was, “This is the putt winners make”. This is great insight for fans as to how professional athletes think. Scott shares exactly the insight fans want to hear.

Third, Scott mentions the importance of getting help from his caddie, Steve Williams. Even after sinking a big putt it was Williams that reminded Scott that the tournament wasn’t over quite yet. That’s a good acknowledgement of how great things aren’t achieved individually.

Fourth, Scott again mentions struggles. Last summer he had The Open Championship, another major title, in his hands and faltered. The message he shared was of staying positive and using it to fuel improvement and belief.

One quick point to make from the video is that Scott responds to a question with, “There’s a really long answer to that question…”

This further demonstrates how well Scott understands message management. He knows that people don’t want to hear the entire long story or all the details about how he won The Masters (That story will be reserved for when he is on the speaking circuit). He gives only the information people want to hear.

In the end, Scott achieves his objective of coming off as a class act speaker and now a world champion golfer.

Public figures have much to gain and everything to lose every time they speak. By having a firm grasp of message management they can continue to build a strong reputation for themselves and their brands. They can achieve objectives, which is to grow their audience and customer base.

The closing statement from Adam Scott is right on the message entertainers or athletes want to share with their fans: “Anything is possible. Never give up on your dreams.”

Improving Your Message Management

Global brands like Disney have spent decades honing their message. Everything that goes out to the public is carefully crafted. The company’s leaders have experience that allows them to know what consumers want to hear.

Professional athletes like Adam Scott are usually trained in speaking. They have a public image to uphold and in Scott’s case it is likely practice combined with an already classy personality that makes him appealing to golf fans all over the world.

In both examples, people get only what they should hear. The message doesn’t contain too much information or all that could be said. Also not included are things people don’t want to hear or things each brand shouldn’t say.

The best leaders understand that they need only say what should be said to achieve the desired result.

Image Credit: Adam Scott Facebook

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