If you’re going for a serious tone, you don’t want jokes in your company handbook or puns on your labels. Style changes like this can be confusing for consumers, as well as employees.
There are two simple ways to control your company’s writing.
1. Be on the same page.
The first step to being on the same page is to identify your business voice. Check out our post on voice here for more details. Once your voice is established, create an in-house style guide outlining the most critical elements that makes your voice unique:
- Examples of company style
- Any sensitive aspects to your business
- Common company phrases, style usages, and correct spelling of product names
Drill it into the mindset of everyone on your team. They must live your brand. Make expectations crystal clear.
When you communicate well with your team members, they will communicate better with clients.
2. Share your work.
Read your employees’ writing. Ask your employees to read each other’s writing. Have someone read your writing.
Peer editing is important – it helps to catch grammar errors, hone style, and spark dialogue within the company.
Constructive criticism also boosts team morale and lets everyone know he or she is a valued team member. Be open to feedback from your employees as well. Thank them for their contributions and willingness to share ideas. Encourage them to be honest when reviewing work from their peers; reassure them there will be no repercussions for being a straight shooter.
To create consistent copy within your company, be mindful of everyone on your team and his or her differences. Different people approach writing from different lenses. Validate ideas and differences in opinion, but set clear expectations for your company’s style, copy, and business voice.