An in-house style guide is like a personal dictionary for your organisation. It can help to ensure that everyone who writes uses
a consistent approach, style and tone.
Your customers expect clear, concise communications that are easy to understand. You need your communications to use a consistent tone of voice that reflects your brand values. If your customers receive letters that are over-formal or full of complex terms and gobbledygook, they can feel confused and alienated. Or if they receive emails that are over-friendly or colloquial – and contain errors of grammar or punctuation – they might feel you’re unprofessional.
A tailor-made style guide can solve these problems.
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It depends on what you need. We take a look at your existing customer communications, talk to you about your challenges and objectives – and then make recommendations. Together, we decide what your in-house guide should include, for maximum benefit to your in-house writers and your customers.
For example: Do you need a guide for the whole organisation, for one project or just for your website? Would you like it to include tips on how to plan, write and edit? Would you like a detailed A-Z to cover every possible issue? Would you like to simply list the principles of plain English and show how to apply them for your customer communications?
We have created in-house style guides for many organisations, including Citizens Information, Heritage Council, Legal Aid Board, Focus Ireland, UCC, Vhi, BIM and Allianz Insurance. We have also edited the existing style guides of other organisations, including Bord Bia and ComReg.
Yes. It’s a good idea to re-evaluate your guide every five years or so, to ensure it continues to reflect your brand values and your evolving customer relationships.
Yes. It’s a good idea to launch the project with a short training course to build buy-in and understanding.
Yes. If you think a style guide might be too detailed, we can create a quick guide. For instance, this could be a one-page guide to your writing style and tone of voice or a laminated quick guide to your punctuation style.
We’ve recently created short writing guides for several insurance companies and a legal firm.
It depends on what type of guide you need and how much work is involved. After you talk to us about your objectives etc, we can give you a quote.