Copy Guidelines

Get crystal clear on your tone – and give people simple guidelines to help them achieve it

The words you use in your comms are an important part of your brand.

The way you communicate your messages has the potential to shift thinking, change behaviour and inspire people to want to connect with you.

But using words consistently – particularly across a large organisation – can be tricky.

You’re likely to have lots of teams and departments writing on your behalf. And each of those people is going to have their own natural writing style and ability.

Which can result in lots of inconsistency and extra work editing copy at your end.

The answer? Easy-to-use copy guidelines, tailored to your brand

We can develop writing guidelines for you, to define or articulate the tone of voice you want to achieve in your comms (tying it in with your values).

And then give people clear, straightforward guidelines to follow on how to write that way.

A Copy Guidelines package is ideal if:

  • You’ve got lots of people writing for you inhouse, across different departments and teams.

  • You’re struggling with consistency and a lack of coherent tone running through your comms.

  • You’d value some easy-to-follow guidelines you and your teams can follow, to improve the way you write and use better quality copy to help build your brand.

Working with Jo who is an expert in the field of writing copy within higher education was wonderfully effective. She is able to advise at each stage of the project and provided an excellent set of tone of voice guides. The friendly and accessible tone of voice was explained well with sample sections which will contribute well to uniting the tone of voice at the University of Roehampton.

Renee Colgate, University of Roehampton

Here’s how it works

Step 1. Getting started

We’ll start by sending you a quick questionnaire to find out about your brand, audiences and thoughts on tone of voice. And then follow that up with a briefing call or Zoom.


Step 2. Agree structure

We’ll discuss how detailed you want your guidelines to be – from a quick four-pager, to a more meaty document (see the different package options below). Once we’ve clarified what you want to include and how it’s going to be used, we’ll send you a structure to sign off.


Step 3. Write copy

We’ll then write up your guidelines, in line with any agreed designs or templates – breaking up the copy to make it easy to navigate. Our aim? To give your writers the detail they need to be able to write in your tone on every project they work on.


Step 4. Amends

We’ll deal with any amends, and get the copy to where it needs it to be: signed off and ready to be designed and rolled out to your teams.


Step 5. Add training

Finally, if you like, we can also run a workshop to talk through your tone of voice and guidelines – and make sure everyone’s clear on it all.

With a Copy Guidelines package, you’ll receive:

  • A questionnaire to get you thinking about tone of voice and what it means for your brand
  • A briefing call or Zoom to talk everything through
  • Full copy for your guidelines, clearly annotated for your designers to flow into your designed document.

How much?

We quote on a project basis, so how much your copy costs will depend on a number of factors, including: the amount of text involved, how much work is needed on it, and when you need it for.  

Simple Guide

Includes:

  • Questionnaire and briefing call or Zoom
  • A short guide (approx. 4 pages) covering your tone, with simple writing guidelines and examples
  • Up to two rounds of amends

Standard Guide

Includes:

  • Questionnaire and briefing call or Zoom
  • A medium sized guide (approx. 15 pages), with sections on your tone, short before and after examples and a brief style guide
  • Up to two rounds of amends

Full Guide

Includes:

  • Questionnaire and briefing call or Zoom
  • A more comprehensive guide (approx. 30 pages), with sections on your tone, a diverse range of before and after examples and a full style guide
  • Up to two rounds of amends

Workshop

Includes:

  • 1 hour workshop to brief your teams on your tone of voice and how to achieve it
  • Writing exercises to make it as interactive as possible
  • Time for questions


Get started on a Copy Guidelines project:

Prefer to talk things through first?