Multiple people in your office generate content for your company. With so many hands writing on your employer’s behalf, how do you make the final call on style issues? The communications director is a fan of the Oxford comma, but your president isn’t. Should a trademark symbol follow your product names throughout your documents or only on first reference? You need photos that are at least 150 dpi for printed documents, but the field staff always sends photos inside Microsoft Word documents that are 75 dpi and lower.
You’ll continue to butt heads with other content creators in your office if you don’t develop a content style guide. You may have expressed this to your colleagues, only to get stares back at you that say, “Another document on the intranet? Who needs that?” Here are five reasons that will convince them that a style guide will save them time and repetitive headaches in the future:
Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style don’t address everything.
One of the first questions I ask in initial client meetings is, “Do you have a content style guide?” Many of these potentials tell me that they just rely on AP style or Chicago. aiellejai relies on AP style as well, but there are internal items that these mainstream manuals just don’t cover. Like the fact that the aiellejai and eSolutions360 company names are never capitalized.
Maintaining style consistency throughout all company documents is ideal.
You’ve just launched a new product, the n-BLADE. Should that be written as NBlade, N-blade, or nBLADE? The logo colors include predetermined shades of blue, grey, and orange. But how will you maintain consistency with product name spelling and logo colors if they’re not specified in a style guide? When questions arise over this type of information, guides provide everyone a source for agreed-upon answers.
A content style guide should cut down on the number and duration of document editing rounds.
Each of the four people responsible for content vetting in your office has style preferences. A style guide will help decide whose preferences prevail. It will also encourage content creators to write with these preferences in mind so that vetting doesn’t involve correcting for these style issues in the end.
You’ll have a good checklist to use for proofreading.
Once you know the company style guide like the back of your hand, you’ll be able to easily spot style problems during proofreading. The result? Style remains effectively intact across all your content, print and online.
Information in the guide gives those outside your company cues for how to write about your brand.
This reason is especially important with product and program names within your company. When you’re consistent with spelling, logos and trademarks, you’re able to answer journalists’ questions about these items for external publications.