Joined-up writing: Making your message match your brand. 20 January 2012
What makes a great brand. Is it personality? Reputation? Logo? Colour? Typefaces? Visual identity? What about the words, what about the tone of voice? What about the written identity?
Find your voice
When we talk the words we choose are vital to getting our message across - the tone, pitch and inflection of our voices are all-important. So too is the look in our eyes, the expression on our face and the movements of our hands and body.
Effective communication, written, spoken or visual, is about finding a distinctive style, ‘a voice’, that conveys your unique personality. Sadly that distinctive style is non-existent in much of what we call corporate communication today. The words are simply not up to scratch.
Why? We can only wonder. We all know how much time and effort is invested in design, photography and indeed typography. But what about copywriting? The words are too often an afterthought with text being flowed into a page template and messages tweaked right at the end of the process with little thought given to how the words support the brand or the overall communication.
Weigh thoughts and measure words
A page of words, a running steam of consciousness – the unbroken flow of thought and awareness of the waking mind* – without skilled editing, styling, care and attention, is just stuff or data. It is just information. It is not communication. The words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they can signify quite different things.
“Information is giving out; communication is getting through”. Sydney J. Harris
True communication – getting through, making a connection and creating real understanding – can only be achieved with words. A nudge, a wink, a kiss, or, perish the thought, a punch may signify something but it can’t possibly tell the whole story. Communication that can engage, inform and inspire, is only possible with words. So choose your words well, write them well. And they will be well-read.
*ATTRIBUTION William James, 1890