So, how do you organize all of it, if you shouldn’t put it in a single document? Through these two exercises, participants will choose positive and negative attributes for their brand’s voice and tone, based on the needs and preferences of their buyer personas. Download our FREE brand voice and style guide template. , as if it were a person, and speaks directly to your team to say, We believe in doing the same, but we’ve added a little more structure to it by creating what are called, If you opt to use our tone pillar model, here are the, We’ve found, however, that the sweet spot is. But it's also a reimagining of Microsoft style—a tool to help everyone write in a way that's natural, simple, and clear. Either they want to be able to select more than five or fewer. You may be wrong about your assumption, and it’s still a great calibration exercise. If someone is being shy, invite them to participate by asking them after someone else gives an opinion, First of all, we need to give credit where credit is due. If so, why? Make it available in an online format. (If you're still not convinced, the team at GatherContent does a great job of explaining why style guides are so important to ensuring that consistency.). every time they need to write a 900-word blog post, especially if it could have been shortened to the length of a press release and been just as effective in explaining what they needed to know about content style. Use this free style guide template layout to create a custom brand manual for your startup, small or large company. They shouldn’t be ambivalent when they do or do not like something. If your roll-out strategy is “send the style guide as a link in an email,” expect to be underwhelmed by the number of people who save it to read for later… and then never do. In addition to two slides covering positive and negative voice attributes, and two to four slides defining what we call “tone pillars,” IMPACT content style guides include the following: Messaging overview and a link to the messaging strategy (if applicable); Formatting rules, which covers capitalization for titles, headings, and subheadings, as well as lists; How words are visually emphasized using bold or italics; Brand-specific copywriting preferences or quirks everyone should follow; Exceptions to traditional AP Stylebook rules; Common AP Stylebook rules and login credentials for a client’s AP Stylebook subscription (if available); and. Before moving on, explicitly state that the goal of the workshop is not to have everyone agree on the same answers. What’s unique about our team that made us the ones who finally fixed the problem? It should be used by anyone on your team -- or freelancers who work with you -- who will be creating content for your brand. Learn how we can help you reach your goals -- and to see if we're the right fit for you. , record all of the answers on a single set of scales, so you can easily spot patterns. In a lot of cases, you’ll still need some serious thinking time to bring it all together, but you’ll probably have a good idea during the workshop about some of the choices that need to be made. Pushback, in this case, is not a negative; it’s by design. The style guide features updated direction and new guidance for subjects that weren't around when the last edition was released. , we’ll discuss how you pull that part of your style guide together, but there’s no need to dedicate a part of the workshop to grammar rules and formatting conventions. -- you’ll have everyone share their answers and the why behind each. It’s cost-effective. Meaning, this is how your brand should always (and never) be perceived. Of course, you shouldn’t do that. Ready to Get Serious About Your Brand Style? 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