A mission statement is a communication of an organization’s purpose, usually expressed with public relations (PR) or marketing in mind.
Mission statements should be brief and clearly articulated statements of the most important things potential customers or the general public should know about the organization. Typically, a mission statement answers these three questions: What do you do, how do you do it, and why do you do it? Many organizations also provide vision statements, which describe mid-term and long-term goals.
Here are a few examples of mission statements from corporate websites:
To build shareholder value by delivering pharmaceutical and healthcare products, services and solutions in innovative and cost effective ways. We will realize this mission by setting the highest standards in service, reliability, safety and cost containment in our industry. (AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceutical distributorship)
We are a market-focused, process-centered organization that develops and delivers innovative solutions to our customers, consistently outperforms our peers, produces predictable earnings for our shareholders, and provides a dynamic and challenging environment for our employees. (Ashland, a chemical, distribution and refinery company)
At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. We consider our mission statement a promise to our customers. We deliver on that promise by striving to create technology that is accessible to everyone—of all ages and abilities. Microsoft leads the industry in accessibility innovation and in building products that are safer and easier to use. (Microsoft)
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad. (Apple)
Some mission statements take a less direct approach. Apple’s mission statement from June 2013 contrasts sharply with the message on its site: