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Editorial style is always on the move. Journalists and those in news media tend to stick quite rigidly to an editorial style guide, which is easy for the reader and super informative. The name of the game here is to provide consumers with the latest information from around the globe or home, and information they might not already know. For the rest of the media and communications industries, however, it’s about creativity, attracting new readers, engagement and of course, entertainment. This is where the tricky part comes.

For content creators, being able to adhere to multiple styles is imperative

One thing you need to do as a writer in almost any field, is adapt. The number one priority is the audience you are writing for. If you know your audience, you can tailor your style to their location, age, interests and all kinds of demographic. In the world of content marketing, of course, tailoring your style is everything to hitting your wider audience’s ever-changing pain points on a very individual level.

Guiding the style

Most newspapers and online news services have their own style guide, which they stick to as it is applicable to a wide audience and ensures they are constantly engaging their readers.

The BBC for example, believe their audience expects them to demonstrate the highest standards of English, because articles that are well written are easier to understand. They have a strict guide for journalists, which covers everything from grammar and spelling, to stories about the military, numbers and religion. They do however revert to the Oxford English Dictionary for anything that isn’t listed in their style guide.

For content creators, being able to adhere to multiple styles is imperative. It’s not only about being grammatically and factually correct, it’s also about tapping into your client’s message and ensuring their employees are always engaged. Clients have varying needs with both a vast and diverse workforce, which means that they often need content to be informative, easy to read and understand, and feel like two-way conversation between the business and its people.

It’s about tapping into your client’s message and ensuring their employees are always engaged

Internal comms

In internal comms, you need to be able to write a variety of copy; long and short, formal and conversational, news and features, for advertising purposes and much more. Alongside this, normal grammar, spelling and punctuation rules apply and your client’s tone of voice also needs to be weaved in.

The Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) states that organisations need to communicate effectively with their staff and although it sounds simple, it’s important all types of communication is well written and received. That’s where us as writers and being able to switch up your editorial style for specific needs comes into play.

Research shows that employee engagement can be relatively low and this can be improved massively by better quality communications. Tone of voice has become a bit of a buzz word in internal comms and it’s because if an employer has a writing style or guide, it will reflect their core values and or brand.