A Clearly Defined Style Guide Creates Brand Consistency
Why bother with a style guide? It helps a company communicate better. Which saves time and money when writing company documents. A style guide goes farther than simply establishing what grammar and punctuation should be used. It outlines when, for example, to use a company abbreviated name or trademark symbol. Once in place, it allows authors to write in a consistent way, rather than infuse their own style—it sets the tone for authors to follow. This is important across all communications, whether internal or external (customer-facing).
For instance, authors can follow a common set of procedures that spell out when to:
- Capitalize a heading
- Write a number or use the digit format
- Use certain kinds of punctuation in different types of lists
Following a well-written, organized style guide goes a long way to reducing the time authors need to find answers as to “how do we say this?”
Style guides are used across different industries, such as:
Oil & Gas
The hallmarks of a good style guide:
- Properly organized according to how/when certain written elements should be used
- Follows the established corporate style
- Utilizes input from the company’s authors during development
- Relatively brief; about four pages long, depending on the end goal
- Created as an easy-to-read reference tool
Improve productivity by giving authors what they need.
If authors have to spend time hunting down answers to common style questions, this can add to operational costs and delay project timelines. However, a professionally-produced style guide ensures all formatting decisions are made in advance. Then the author can focus 100% on creating content.