Phase 3: Sharpen your tools
Give your content creators useful guides, calendars, and knowledge
Tone of voice guidelines
- How do you sound?
- Does your brand's voice match its look?
- What makes your words stand out?
Good writers can give voice to any personality. So who are you asking your writers to sound like? Tone of voice guidelines help writers sound like you, by turning your brand into explanations and examples. They match your content to your image.
If you’re a solid, dependable expert you’ll have a different sound to the crazy cut-price competitor down the road. With the right guide in hand your content creators will hit the right notes.
- How consistent is your copy?
- What words or phrases do you avoid?
- How do you solve editorial conundrums?
Good copy needs to be correct and consistent, and your style guide helps writers choose the right words, phrases, and grammar. Typically we help you choose one of the international standards (like the AP Stylebook or Chicago Manual of Style, for example), and then create a shorter, supplementary in-house style guide.
- What’s coming up next week, next month, next year?
- How quickly can you operate?
- What topics are about to get hot?
Editorial calendars keep your content workload manageable, plan what’s next, and make sure that the topics you’re going to address are well-timed.
Our advice will help work out whether you'd be better off using one of the many tools that are available online, or if it’s better-suited to a simpler in-house approach.
Authoring rules: Templates and content types
- Those webpages of yours - what content types do they include?
- How well does your content work as data?
- Are you prepared for devices and formats that no-one’s heard of yet?
This is where we get close up with each page type in your site, and everything you say (and want to say). We break content down into types (like titles, dates, descriptions, prices...) to make the content creation process clearer, truly understand your page structures, and even inform the content management system (CMS) interface your writers use.
This changes the way content creators approach their work, and it's a crucial step towards easily reusing content across different layouts, devices, or systems.
This is most valuable when you're selecting a new CMS, redesigning a site, or starting a new one.