The voice and tone exercises are virtually identical. They'll also ensure that your image meets the Content and Information Architecture Specification. Write: We'll consider any type of investment. People who use assistive technology may listen for keywords using software or may use keyboard shortcuts to access all the headings on a page. For copywriters, content creators, editors, and digital marketers, an editorial style guide is an invaluable reference for optimizing content and polishing copy. They aren't interchangeable. That’s why the choices you make with your content’s style will make or break your ability to get your message out there and believed by the right people. Phone and tablet screens display less content than desktop and laptop screens. You’re laying the foundation for everything else by establishing the boundaries of your brand personality sandbox. It also won’t tell you how to win the internet. In an active sentence, the subject does the action. Mailchimp. In a passive sentence, it may not be clear who or what is doing the action. Words and expressions in transition are those written commonly in 2 or more different ways. Additionally, you should take notes as described in the previous point. It would be difficult for someone using a screen reader or a mobile device to access and understand the information. Before you jump in, there are two important strategic activities we consider mandatory prerequisites: You absolutely must have complete buyer personas before you build your content style guide. Replace long words with short, simple and everyday words that most people understand and use. The Chicago Manual of Style is an ever-popular choice, while The Yahoo! Do not define any words for them. Find information about using paved roads, bike trails, airports and ports across the country. You may use these abbreviations when space is limited, for example, in a table or a figure. That’s a great question, but you want to keep them focused on the task at-hand, and you don’t want to accidentally influence their choices by pivoting the discussion to the methodology behind the workshop. You could write the following long description text: Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Note: Includes all tenures. Try to keep sentences under 20 words. It should be used by anyone on your team -- or freelancers who work with you -- who will be creating content for your brand. Allow other participants to respond first to the answers of others -- that dialogue can be really helpful for extracting the unfiltered, unguarded intelligence you need. A content style guide is a d ocumented set of guidelines and rules that break down your b rand personality , and how it is (and isn’t) e xpressed through your content . On the other hand, some still suffer from a total disconnect between what they want to say vs. what they’re actually communicating to their audience. There’s a good chance people will pick opposing answers for certain scales even though they agree; find ways to guide them to that realization, although they’ll usually get there on their own. use consistent grammatical structure. Two is a nice minimum, because it allows you to create a balance between two tonal qualities that can be scaled or differently weighted, as needed, depending on context. These are the rules to create web content that can be easily found, understood and used. The complex table also easily converts into 2 lists. . Don’t be fooled. After you get to a point where you know they should be accountable, just send the work back and circle what’s not up to style and have them correct it. AUDIENCE This guide is intended for manufacturers, content service organizations, and other content creators who have advanced knowledge of both Revit software and Revit model content creation. But obvious best practices like, “Don’t make your content look like a massive word wall; break up your text with headings, lists, etc.,” don’t really belong in a style guide. No matter what it looks like, your content style guide should be presented in such a way where the important stuff -- voice and tone attributes, style notes, etc. As we’ve talked about already, your content’s style is only one piece of the brand storytelling puzzle. Instead, you are trying to get them to explain the why behind the words they chose. ), you’ll want to review your style guide at a high-level for tweaks and updates quarterly, with a more in-depth review with your team annually. If you’re going to take our advice and use AP style, here are the most common exceptions our B2C and B2B clients select: AP style says not to use an Oxford comma following a conjunction in a series; the exception is to always use an Oxford comma in a series. If you must include the name of the act or regulation, always give a plain-language description. Double negative: You may not claim anything for a dependent child born in 1972 or earlier, unless the child has a mental or physical disability. But if you hear any of these objections, you cannot cave. They can only use the words presented to them, as-is, but they are encouraged to expand upon their thinking when it’s their turn to share their answers. You should include specific notes on positive and negative voice attributes that will allow your team to adopt the right mental posture with your brand’s content. Read the directions once more, with the word cloud up on the screen, and then ask if they have any questions. Name the other organization when your content refers to it. Then, you may add the reference to the act or regulation. Then they go through a content style guide workshop.). In fact, we’ve tweaked those word clouds numerous times over the years, sprinkling in and testing different words to ensure we’re creating opportunities for honest discussion and to allow authentic, unfiltered feelings to take center stage. There is no right way to synthesize the data, so do it in a way that makes the most sense for you. Remember to also refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. You could write the following alternative text: Comparison of the ratio of women and men in the civil service between 1983 and 2010. In a lot of cases, you’ll still need some serious thinking time to bring it all together, but you’ll probably have a good idea during the workshop about some of the choices that need to be made. In some cases, people create a laundry list of tips, rules, and suggestions for people to follow as they’re crafting content. We use a structured facilitation presentation deck with a set agenda to facilitate our workshops. This manifests itself when one or more people have their answers clustered almost exclusively around the middle. When possible, use the present tense. When you select Find (or press Control + F), a small window will display all the headings in your document. To satisfy our shareholders and customers, what business processes must we excel at? People fundamentally do not like being told what to think about anything -- especially about brands. (If you’re looking for a shortcut, our content style guide template has an appendix with common AP style rules, which will make it easier for you to pull out your exceptions, if you have any.). It’s how you deliver on the promise of your voice. Here's what you can do: Title tag: The page title tag is the blue hyperlinked text you see when a search engine generates a list of results. Hard copy-only style guides get put in drawers and ignored, thrown away, or used as coasters. Your brand is always sending messages and communicating with your audience about who you are and what you value, even when you’re not explicitly saying something. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Gets It. Skip to main content +1.866.971.0933. You can include the title of your publication here. Then, check the table of contents to make sure you've correctly structured the page title, headings and subheadings. . and challenge people to go deeper, as appropriate. Research whether they're understood by a wide audience before using them. Using plain language actually makes critical information accessible and readable for everyone. Listen for key phrases (beyond the ones on the page) that stand out to you or ideas where there’s a lot of consensus. Unique page titles help search engines tell the difference between similar pages. Do you or your organization already have a GST/HST account? They either want to change the tense of a word or use a different (but similar) one they like better in its place. he tools in your content toolbox may not seem terribly exciting or fun at first. They must also be present literally and figuratively for the duration of the workshop, so all they’ll need are their brains, a pen/pencil, and a notepad. We use a structured facilitation presentation deck with a set agenda to facilitate our workshops. Writing for the Web: Principles and Guidelines, Rental of machinery office furniture and fixtures, Other professional services not elsewhere specified. That said, you really can’t have one without the other. Use the null indicator as the alternative text (alt=""). In this scenario, we usually say at the conclusion of the exercise (so no one person is singled out): , collect all of the worksheets, but take notes during the discussion period. Make a mark every time a word is chosen (so you can spot patterns), and take notes on key words, phrases, or ideas that come out. Referring to the School. Just type in your email address below, so we can send it to you. Looks easy, right? From this page you can access a wealth of transportation information related to travelling and commuting. This training should also include an overview of the benefits of having a style guide. Let them know, however, that they don’t have to rank the words. Depending on the unique needs of a client, we may also include other optional sections -- for instance, exceptions for social media, core values, how to handle competitor references, or examples of “best in class” blog examples or other types of content. Period.”. In newer versions of Microsoft Word, search for "Flesch-Kincaid" using the help feature. Again, you might not run into any of these issues -- that’s also okay. Make sure that your links work. If you must include jargon familiar to your target audience, be sure to: Write: You have to file your income tax return (T1) by April 30. That sounds straightforward enough, right? Use non-breaking hyphens (Ctrl+Shift+Hyphen) in phone numbers. AP style says only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized in article titles and headlines; exceptions vary wildly, but most use some version of title case is adopted as an exception. However, all institutions are encouraged to use it for both their internal and external web products. This kind of thinking results in content style guides people will never want to use. For example, let’s say you see a big change in leadership at the top of an organization -- a company founder leaves and a new CEO steps up to take the reins. To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve? That’s why you want people to feel something about the words that they chose. Jargon: bench warrant (an order by a judge to arrest someone who didn't show up in court or comply with certain conditions), Idiom: to hire a helping hand (meaning to hire an employee), Expression: attack your least favourite task first (meaning do your least favourite task first). If you present content in alphabetical order in English, also present it in alphabetical order in French to provide the same intuitive experience. Again, your brand’s voice is essentially defining the constants of your brand’s personality. How to run a content style guide workshop with your team. Having a content style guide in place will guarantee your content always looks good and -- most of all -- what you’re saying and what you’re actually communicating to your audience are in sync. Each person will complete a worksheet, which will reflect their opinions of how they believe the brand should be perceived by your ideal buyers. Most people scan page titles and headings, looking for keywords that will confirm that they have found what they're looking for. The better you organize your voice and tone guidance, and create connections for them, the more likely that will be. ... use the Content Style Guide to ensure you have followed the guidelines; (Gotcha!). Your message will fade into the background, like white noise. Through these two exercises, participants will choose positive and negative attributes for their brand’s voice and tone, based on the needs and preferences of their buyer personas. Sadly, the content component of a brand’s style is often rushed through, if not completely overlooked, as a result. A transcript is the text equivalent of an audio or video file. You’re a marketing leader overseeing a website redesign project that will include rewriting most -- if not all -- of your website’s woefully out-of-date copy. Your goal is to create a document that your people will want to bookmark (if it’s online) or keep a hard copy of on their desk, so they can come back to it again and again, because it’s such a valuable resource. Your industry, audience, and brand preferences will inform what … The DARCI Accountability Grid establishes who is accountable for what for any type of organizational activity or project. You may use "my" in content, page titles and links for proper names (such as My Service Canada Account). (“We’re fun and approachable!”), Brand-specific copy rules, suggestions, and preferences. In the following example, all the cells in the first: Fourth quarter of the April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, fiscal year. ), Make reviewing the style guide an official onboarding step for new staff members; especially freelance writers. From: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Start your content with the most important information, and be direct. No matter what it looks like, your content style guide should be presented in such a way where the important stuff -- voice and tone attributes, style notes, etc. It also helps search engines better understand the purpose of the image. If you haven’t put together your brand messaging strategy yet, here are five basic questions you can use for this exercise: How well do are we communicating the answers to those questions right now? ITC – not the … For example: January to March 2016 (instead of Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4). Ever. You can use a readability tool like Flesch-Kincaid to check the reading level of your English content. When you're writing alternative text for a functional image: Decorative images don't require additional information to make them accessible or visible to search engines. Please take the time to review the entire document. Meaning, this is how your brand should always (and never) be perceived. In some cases, a Food Guide Serving may be close to what you eat, such as an apple. Finally, at a high-level, your content will be better across the board and more effective at attracting the right people. What Kind of Pushback Will You See in These Exercises? Also, note any consensus around negative words and the why behind them. Use lower case for a link in a sentence, unless the link contains a proper name. Learn where to place images and videos on and what size they should be: Alternative text (or alt text) is text that describes an image. The Readability Statistics dialog box will appear and show the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. NOTE: The above example and our downloadable template feature adapted versions of actual results from multiple IMPACT clients. Moreover, they’re also impossible to keep updated; you’ll never have any version control, and your job will be harder. Always use the simplest form of a verb. 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