Last week I wrote about the importance of consistency when multiple spokespeople begin to represent a brand. This is not about driving out all traces of individuality but, rather, ensuring that the different voices within your organisation all reflect the same set of brand values.
It may be helpful to think in terms of a band, in which harmony rather than uniformity is the goal. Each musician has their own style and role but when they play together there is something that makes them sound distinctively like the Rolling Stones, Duran Duran or Atomic Kitten.
To extend this metaphor, your brand values – as described last week – are what define your “sound”. Once this sound is established, however, you also need to ensure that everyone knows which tune they are playing.
Below are five tips to ensure consistency in written and spoken communications:
1. Develop a style guide for blogs, letters and other written communications. This should not be unnecessarily prescriptive but could include abbreviations that can and cannot be used, colloquialisms that are and are not acceptable, and standardised salutations for use in correspondence.
2. Choose, and standardise the use of, a corporate typeface.
3. Ditto corporate colours, which should also be used wherever possible on everyone’s work social media accounts.
4. Ensure that all staff know how to describe your business, particularly when talking to the press. You don’t want one publication to describe you as an accountant and another as a business adviser (a largely meaningless term, anyway) – this will just cause confusion among potential clients.
5. Before issuing a press release or commenting on any news event agree, and disseminate to all spokespeople, a maximum of three key messages for everyone to emphasise in any related interviews, social media updates etc.