Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Creating Your Own Writing Style: Here's How

Today's Marketing Tip is all about creating a unique writing style for the benefit of your business. Having a style that you call your own can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. To ensure that your corporate writing style is applied consistently, you need to develop a style-guide.

Writing style refers to the words and expressions - as well as to the spelling, grammar and punctuation - a person uses when writing letters and memos. Each of us has a personal style of writing which, like our speaking voice, is usually recognizable.

When it comes to your business, the problem is that corporate communications are written by many people, each with their own personal style. This is especially true where particular documents, such as newsletters, technical manuals and corporate brochures, websites and ezines, contain contributions from several people.

As a result, there is a need to create a company writing style that unifies written communications and reflects corporate identity and image. If you examine the brochures and websites of major corporations you'll see that the style of writing varies - sometimes subtly but always distinctively - from one company to the next. You will also notice that the corporate literature of each particular company reflects a unified style, as if it had all been written by the same person, ie the same corporate personality.

The best way to achieve a unified writing style that is marked with your corporate personality is to create a document called a style-guide. A style-guide is a booklet that covers word, phrase and sentence usage, and approaches to be taken in structuring particular types of communications, such as brochures and technical manuals, as well as common errors in grammar and syntax. It lays down the 'rules' to be followed when writing corporate literature.

A style-guide should provide your corporate communications with a distinct vocabulary and cadence that is appropriate to your business. Obviously a writing style that is suitable for a financial services company or bank must differ greatly from the style of a fashion house. An appropriate style-guide will provide your company with the overall tone and word-quality you need to communicate successfully with your target audiences.

You should always ensure that the final guide is delivered in electronic format so that it may be printed and distributed among your staff without restriction. Once it has been issued, you will also need to take steps to ensure that the writing 'rules' are followed in all communications with markets and stakeholders.

A well-thought out writing style-guide with clear understandable rules, which are applied consistently to all corporate literature - print and electronic - will ensure clarity and harmony in your corporate communications and reinforce corporate personality. It's just as important as your logo and visual imagery.

Post Provided By:

Paul Kennedy is a business consultant and writer. His writing services solve corporate writing challenges and imbue business communications with clarity, impact and persuasiveness.


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