What is a Communication Styles Guide and how to use it

Sometimes the form is more important than the message itself, don't you think? Learn how to create a style guide with this post!

Employment resources

Have you ever interacted as a user with a company that surprised you with its way of communicating? Because of the creativity and freshness of its messages, because of the formats it uses, because of the moments it chooses to contact, because of the closeness or professionalism it transmits… all of these aspects extrapolate an image that the public captures and make them feel more or less attracted. by the brand; and that is why it is so important to take care of how an entity communicates with the outside in detail.

In this post, we want to talk to you about the communication styles guide, an essential document for designing a corporate communication plan.

Style and tone: it is not “what” is said, but “how it is said”

Communication is a set of factors that support, and even determine, the brand image and, within these factors, are the style and tone that are chosen to transmit intangible values, such as trust, experience or transparency.

This is also valid in the intrapersonal sphere, in which a message can completely change its meaning when one tone or another is used. If the wrong tone is used, it can lead to misunderstandings. Well, in the corporate sphere, the same thing happens: if a communication style guide is not established, the messages will lack personality and there will even be communication failures.

Don’t confuse style with tone of communication

It is important that, in addition to choosing the appropriate message and words, we think carefully about the tone and style that we will apply. Let’s start with differences in tone and style!

Tone refers to the attitude, emotion or disposition that the communicator expresses through the message. It can transmit emotions such as joy, sadness, anger, and sympathy, among others. Tone can vary depending on the intention of the communicator and can influence how the message is perceived. For example, a message can have a kind and understanding tone or a critical and sarcastic tone.

On the other hand, style refers to the way the message is presented, including word choice, sentence structure, grammar, and other linguistic aspects. The style may vary depending on the context and the audience to which it is directed. It can be formal, informal, technical, poetic, among others. Communication style influences the clarity and impact of the message.

What is a Communication Styles Guide and what fundamental points does it include?

A communication style guide is a fundamental tool for any organization and serves to establish clear guidelines on how to communicate internally and externally on behalf of the company.

The guide must have certain characteristics such as coherence so that all messages share tone and style; professionalism, to convey the quality of service and trust; clarity, which contributes to transparency and understanding; time-saving, which facilitates the process of creating new messages; employee orientation, helps them know how to communicate with the company; brand protection, avoiding inappropriate communication and strengthening the brand image and adaptability, so that messages flow correctly through different channels.

Steps to create a communication styles guide

Now that you know how important the tone and style of communication with which the message is wrapped is, all that remains is to see the steps to create a style guide, let’s get to it!

Define the objectives of the message: Before you begin, establish the objectives of the style guide. What do you want to achieve with this guide? What specific aspects of communication do you want to address?

Identify the audience: Determine for whom the style guide will be created. Is it aimed at employees, editors, external agencies, or everyone involved in the company’s communication?

Analyze the current state of company communication: Examine the organization’s existing communications, such as emails, documents, social media posts, announcements, etc. Evaluate how you are currently communicating and what aspects need improvement.

Establishes principles and values: defines the company’s principles and values ​​that must be reflected in communication. This includes the mission, vision, company culture and brand personality.

Define the tone: think about how you want the company’s communication to sound: friendly, formal, technical, accessible, simple, fun…?

Set specific style rules: such as capitalization, grammar, punctuation, sentence length, and other linguistic aspects. Make sure they are consistent with the brand image.

Includes some examples and instructions for the media: Provide concrete examples of how to apply the style guidelines in real situations and create templates that employees can use for documents, presentations, and other types of communication. In addition, it is important that you also provide practical examples for the media and various channels, such as digital press, social networks, review sites, directories, online and offline events…

Discover the 4 communication styles: Which one would you apply?

The answer is that it depends on the context, the objective of the message, the content, the receiving audience, and the brand image of the sender… below, we will tell you in general terms what the four styles of corporate communication are.

Internal communication

Its goal is to keep employees informed, engaged and aligned with the company’s objectives. It refers to all messages that are distributed only among the employees of a company, generally related to company policies, news in procedures, changes, business culture, etc. They must be direct, detailed, and easy to understand. Depending on the content, the tone may be more or less relaxed.

External communication

External communication is directed to parties external to the organization, such as customers, suppliers, investors, media, and the general public. Its objective is to build and maintain a good reputation, promote products or services, attract investors and maintain positive relationships with the business environment. It can be manifested through advertising campaigns, public relations, presence on social networks and other means.

Crisis communication

When an organization faces crises, such as natural disasters, scandals, security issues, or public health issues, crisis communication becomes a crucial style. This type of communication focuses on managing public perception and providing accurate and timely information to mitigate the negative impact on the company’s reputation. Crisis communication requires a quick and effective response to maintain stakeholder trust.

Strategic communication

Strategic communication involves the planning and execution of strategies to achieve specific organizational objectives. This may include managing the brand, promoting a strong corporate culture, implementing organizational changes, and influencing decision-making. It focuses on aligning communication with the company’s vision and mission, as well as contributing to long-term success.

And finally… don’t forget that the communication style guide must be a living document, which is updated as necessary to adapt to changes in the organization and new trends. Subscribe to Educa.Pro and learn much more about business management, marketing, communication and business!

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