With a global shift toward “authenticity” in corporate communication, it might seem out of touch to harp on the importance of consistency and tone — but that doesn’t give license for authentic communication to be sloppy or unconsidered. In fact, communication with true “personality” must be considered and consistent for it to truly be authentic.
Companies are increasingly encouraging employees to serve as brand ambassadors on social media platforms by posting their own videos and images from work-related activities. Some even have their employees take over the bulk of the text production for internal publications. But to ensure they have a unique, recognizable brand, these companies will need a consistent voice.
You might be asking: What even is a corporate voice or style? When writers, editors and translators talk about the “style” of a text, there are several things they mean. Such as how long or short, simple or complex the sentences are; whether the tone is conversational or official; what point of view a given text is written from; as well as who the intended audience is.
But when creating texts for a certain customer or brand through ghostwriting, editing or translation, “style” can have a much more specific meaning — namely making sure things are consistent through a style guide.
Languages are alive, changing and adapting to cultural needs. English is a particularly indecisive culprit, and though there are some set-in-stone rules for grammar, spelling and word choice, numerous linguistic questions can’t be settled by saying something is “wrong” or “right.” In many situations, all we can say is, “That’s how we do it here.”
Take those quotation marks up there in the previous sentence. Is it correct to place the period inside or outside of them? That depends on a few factors, including where you live and which editorial standard you’re following.
In the United Kingdom and even in specific publications for other regions, it would have been perfectly “correct” to place the sentence punctuation outside the quote, but standard U.S. style dictates otherwise.