A few weeks ago we shared some of our top recommendations for how to create an effective tone of voice for your brand. We talked a lot about how tone of voice shouldn’t be neglected and that the main thing you need to consider is personality and consistency. Even if your product or service isn’t unique – your people, your approach and your vision can be – and this should be showcased through your tone of voice.
In our first article ‘Our top considerations for effective tone of voice – part one’ – we covered some important topics – including how to consider and tackle the following questions…
1. What is your brand personality?
2. How do you want to come across verbally?
3. How do you want to come across in written content?
4. What are your style guidelines?
Get your workforce involved.
These are all super essential areas to think about when you’re creating your brand tone of voice. However – all these elements can only be successful if you have the support, willingness and empathy of your workforce. But, how easy is it to convince your staff that effective tone of voice needs to be a priority? Can you persuade your colleagues that tone of voice should actually be something that’s always considered when communicating with customers? Can it become embedded into your culture?
By now, we’re sure you know that your tone of voice should be lived and breathed across your whole organisation. However, not everyone sees it as a priority and some people will need convincing. Don’t just talk about building an effective tone of voice exclusively within the marketing team. Everyone who has contact with customers should be involved and know the true importance of a relevant and compelling tone of voice.
So – where do you start with involving and empowering your staff?
Communicate your values widely and in many different formats.
Your management team should be accountable for communicating your company values regularly and to drive the constant relevance of them in our changing world. You can do this through company-wide conferences, webinars, blog entries, and videos and filter these comms down to all managers and line managers. Try to make the process genuine and authentic rather than just a tick box exercise.
Ask your staff to help developing your ToV.
Your staff know your company better than anyone else. They’re the ones dealing with the everyday problems and seeing the complaints and the success stories.
Ask your workforce what they think – do workshops, brainstorming sessions, surveys and polls. People will feel empowered and committed if involved.
Create user-friendly and accessible tone of voice guidelines.
Guidelines do have a time and a place and this is one of them. We don’t suggest anything too extensive as people are busy and not everyone will agree that this is a priority. We recommend 2 pages max – this document should identify your company values/mission/vision, your key personality traits, details about your audience and mediums, examples (before and after) and very importantly – who to contact for advice and training. We’d be very happy to create these guidelines on your behalf or in collaboration with you. Get in touch if you want to know more!
Ensure you have an internal communications campaign.
This can be very simple but it is essential. Don’t keep your guidelines in a forgotten folder of the intranet! Bring things to life through interactive workshops, video stories and don’t underestimate the power of examples. Using before and after examples is a great way to demonstrate how to effectively use your new guidelines. Make sure the conversation is on-going.
Consider your audience, medium and your goals.
Whilst everything in this article might seem interesting and relevant to you, it may feel quite abstract until you have to put it into action. Before you commence a plan for a written/verbal piece of work – consider how this works for the intended audience, the chosen medium and what your desired outcome is. This will help determine many things like the length, structure and the call-to-action.
Do you have any other ideas for how to engage your team or company regarding tone of voice? We’d love you to share your ideas in the comment section!
Find this intriguing? In the current climate – a distinctive and appropriate tone of voice is more important than ever. Maybe you know this but you don’t know where to start or you’ve simply been putting it off. Let us help distil your vision and bring you some much-needed clarity. We want to help you be proud of your internal comms, your marketing content and your customer service approach.
Still not convinced? We offer a free consultation to discuss your marketing challenges and requirements. Book your slot today!