Your mission? Keep it to yourself.

“…And we’d like to put our mission statement on the home page.”

No.

No, you wouldn’t.

Your mission statement is for you. It’s for your board of directors, your senior vice presidents, your employees, your partners, your backers. It’s for your company, and your company alone.

Your mission is not for your customers. Your mission is not for your customers because your goal IS NOT TO GET YOUR CUSTOMERS TO DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU.

I don’t hate mission statements. I’ve written them. I believe in a few. I understand their place in corporate culture.

A mission statement is a framework for a company’s spirit. It’s a line or two upon which a company can balance new endeavors. Some of those new endeavors won’t stick, and that’s the point – a mission statement helps filter out the ideas that are off-brand and unnecessary. A mission statement rallies your employees and drives internal brainstorming and carves out a niche.

It’s a statement of future work.

For the most part, your audience doesn’t want methods and statements. They want answers. How will this product/service/widget affect them?

Your mission statement is not for your packaging. It’s not for your brochures and it sure as hell isn’t for your Web site.

It’s for you.

Don’t throw it on the backs of your audience.

(Originally posted at Black Marks on Wood Pulp.)

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