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Tone of voice guidelines

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Tone of voice guidelines

  1. 1. Tone of voice guidelines Version 1.1 10.07.2015
  2. 2. Tone of voice guidelines Contents Introduction 2 -- CIM’s tone of voice 3 -- CIM’s tone of voice (cont.) 4 Our values 5 -- Our tone of voice 6 -- Our core brand values 7 -- Our core brand values (cont.) 8 Sounding like us 9 -- Step by step 10 -- Step by step (cont.) 11 Examples 12 -- CPD submission 13 -- Webinar email 14 -- Assessment results email 15 -- Assessment results email 16 -- Cutting edge to Marketing Pulse 17 About us 18 -- Talking about CIM 19 Grammar, spelling and punctuation 20 -- Grammar and spelling 21 -- Punctuation 22 -- Punctuation (cont.) 23 Our house style 24 -- Acronyms and things... 25 -- Acronyms and things... (cont.) 26 Contact 27 1 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  3. 3. Introduction Contents Prev Page Next Page
  4. 4. Tone of voice guidelines CIM’s tone of voice As with many tasks, writing can seem daunting if you’re left without guidance. But if you have something to say – and you know the way in which it needs to be said – it isn’t as arduous as it first appears. We’ve put together this tone of voice document to aid and direct you when writing any form of communication on behalf of CIM. It’s essential that we maintain our personality and tone of voice when talking to any audience – whether it’s across our social media platforms or in our annual report. Whatever we say; whenever we say it – we always sound like CIM. Introduction These guidelines are designed to help CIM deliver a confident and consistent tone of voice. Access more resources www.cimbrandcentral.com Feedback? brand@cim.co.uk 3 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  5. 5. Tone of voice guidelines CIM’s tone of voice (cont.) —— Think back… Cast your mind back ten years. There was no such thing as Twitter. Facebook was only open to students at a selection of US universities. There was no Gmail, nor Google maps. The iPhone hadn’t been released, and Blackberry and Nokia were still thriving. The App Store and its multi-billion dollar economy weren’t in existence. And marketing technology implementations took months, not the moments they do now. If the last decade of disruption is anything to go by, the next 10 years could see a seismic change in marketing’s role. We foresee the profession taking a stronger position at the centre of the wheel – orchestrating and consolidating competitive advantage across all areas. But what does this mean for CIM? Introduction —— Our opportunity The scale and pace of change over the last decade has had a transformational effect on how we live and how we work. If our prediction is correct, then the next 10 years will make or break marketing’s role. As the only Chartered body for marketing internationally, we have a responsibility to lead during this period of change – and it’s a responsibility we take seriously. To signal this change, we introduced a new brand image for the first time in more than a quarter of a century. The recrafting and reintroduction of CIM’s crest retains and respects our rich heritage and history, whilst our new wordmark and fresh colour palette renovate and modernise our brand. But our rebrand represents more than just a creative remodel of our logo. It signifies a shift in position, a shift in attitude, and an opportunity to assist in producing the best – not only for the marketing community – but for their organisations and ultimately their customers. —— Our vision For more than 100 years, we’ve been supporting, representing and developing marketers, teams, leaders and the profession as a whole. Our vision is for marketing to be recognised for playing a pivotal role in business, constantly harnessing, integrating and acting on collective intelligence. As the world’s leading professional marketing body, CIM is uniquely placed not just to be the voice for future debate – but an active participant, catalysing and shaping the future of our changing profession. 4 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  6. 6. Our values Contents Prev Page Next Page
  7. 7. Tone of voice guidelines Our tone of voice Our shift in attitude signifies a new verbal identity that complements our brand position. Coupled with a new visual identity, how we sound has a sizeable influence on how we’re perceived. So it’s important that we understand who we are and how we speak before we address our audience. At CIM, we produce a substantial amount of written communication across all areas of the business. Regardless of author or audience, our voice and personality are integral components of our writing which should always remain consistent. If inconsistent, we could easily confuse – leaving people uncertain of what we stand for and who we are. The way in which we write (or speak) is an opportunity to convey our personality, underpinned by our four core brand values: —— Authoritative —— Intelligent —— Open and optimistic —— Catalyst Our values 6 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  8. 8. Tone of voice guidelines Our core brand values —— Authoritative We’re always authoritative in all we say. We know that our networks have an unrivalled breadth, depth and diversity – making us the world’s leading community of marketers – but we’re far from complacent. When we divulge our opinions, we do so with credibility – not superiority. We’re confident in what we know, and what we know is marketing. We have an expansive view on its ever-changing remit which we’re enthusiastic about sharing. —— Intelligent We’ve been acquiring and applying knowledge and skills since the day we were founded. Today, we continue to share our wealth of unmatched ideas, insights and resources. And we’re able to tailor our actions and deeds in response to constant change. Our vocabulary is extensive, but we do not need to litter a sentence with complicated words just to sound intelligent. We’re meticulous in crafting clear, concise copy which conveys our intelligence – and never condescends. We don’t confuse our audience with overly complex sentences. Nor do we muddy our messages with unnecessary jargon. We speak with authority, but we do not dictate. We are intelligent, but we are not complicated. We are… Leading Responsible Credible Reliable Established Recognised Connected Expert Confident We are not… the only ones with a view on marketing. We’re careful not to be overbearing, imposing or dictatorial in any way. We are… Knowledgeable Adaptable Skilful Focused Original Innovative Visionary Competent We don’t mean… that our intelligence is superior. We are not self- important or assuming. Our values 7 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  9. 9. Tone of voice guidelines Our core brand values (cont.) —— Open and optimistic Our language shows that we are approachable. We welcome anyone looking to glean and share marketing intelligence, and our tone of voice reflects this. It aids us in supporting, representing and developing the profession as a whole. We’re a receptive and adaptive community in a period of constant change – and we’re harnessing more than a century of experience to fuel our future. We create content that invites, engages and evolves, whatever the platform. —— Catalyst We’ve built on our heritage and authority by moving past being just the voice of marketing. Now, we’re an active participant in the conversation. It’s our responsibility to convene the debate and report on progress – bringing together the best and brightest to ensure marketing delivers at the centre of business growth. Our messages always intrigue, excite and elicit a response. We recognise that there are other voices to be heard, and we value what it is they have to say. We are proud of our rich history, but continually embrace change. We set the stage, but we do not monopolise the discussion. We are… Receptive Adaptive Welcoming Warm Approachable Flexible Transparent Trusted Evolving Accepting We don’t mean… that we’re lacking ambition, drive or focus. We… Enable Inspire Convene Discuss Enrich Orchestrate Shape Participate Develop Collaborate Facilitate Provoke thought We don’t… incite conversation and then remain dormant. Nor do we manipulate its course. We continue to encourage, develop and participate. Our values 8 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  10. 10. Sounding like us Contents Prev Page Next Page
  11. 11. Tone of voice guidelines Step by step 1.Take the time to choose your words carefully… We don’t speak solely for the sake of hearing our own voice. Saying anything just to be able to say something is counterproductive and can easily undermine our intelligence. It’s better to use 10 words that deliver an impact than to labour over composing 100 that go unread. So do your research. Select content that will add value to your copy. And use your words with purpose. Everything we say is worth being said. 2.Get to know your audience… The purpose of producing copy (for the most part) is to compel your audience to complete an action. Understanding who they are and the way in which they like to be spoken to is a key component in crafting messages that truly resonate. We write what our audience wants to hear because we understand exactly what that is. 3.Don’t overcomplicate the situation… With most forms of communication, readers have a wealth of available options in a varying number of formats. Copy and content that is difficult to follow will only succeed in deterring potential readers. Avoid jargon and draft clear calls to action in everyday English. If a single sentence becomes too complex, shorten it. A short sentence is still capable of evoking a formidable response. So don’t be misled. Longer sentences don’t automatically make us appear more intelligent Our copy is simple, not simplistic. 4.Bend the rules… The English language has an almost endless list of rules which we’re careful to follow. But where breaking the rules aids your creativity, don’t shy away from doing so. Remember that our language is constantly evolving. When used imaginatively, words are a powerful tool. We’re not afraid to show creativity. 5.Speak with confidence… We are the world’s largest community of marketers. And we’re aware of the extent of our reach and capabilities. But there is no place for complacency in our writing (or any other form of communication). Take our heritage in your stride and be confident in our knowledge as an organisation, as well as your knowledge as an individual. Be direct with your language and avoid using the passive. We know our strengths. We know marketing. 6.Consider the context… We should always sounds like us, regardless of the platform we’re using. But a letter to a corporate client requires a different response to a tweet or Facebook update. There’s no need to incorporate each of our brand values in equal measure into everything we write. It’s up to you to decide which approach is most appropriate in each situation. An email regarding a failed exam requires more of an open and optimistic approach than an authoritative one. We always sound like CIM. Sounding like us 10 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  12. 12. Tone of voice guidelines Step by step (cont.) 7.Include the reader... Our members (whether current, past or potential) are human. And each individual is equally important to us as a business. Use ‘you’ and ‘we’ in your writing to appeal to the reader on a personal level, and let them know that we value their role in the organisation. Try reading your copy aloud to see how it sounds. If you think it comes across as cold and unfriendly, address it to somebody you know. It should be easier to inject a warm and friendly tone. We see our members as individuals, not numbers. 8.Lead with the benefits… Our writing demonstrates that we understand our members’ needs and deliver a range of information and services that will benefit them. Be clear and explain in simple terms the advantage we’re offering. Providing obvious benefits presents readers with a reason to complete whatever action it is you’re asking of them. We already know that our products are of genuine value. The aim of our communications is to highlight how. We focus on our customers and tailor our products according to their needs. 9.Be honest… We never lie. Communicate openly and treat the reader with respect. When we do something wrong, admit it. And when we have something to say, say it in plain English – without deceiving our audience. We’re straightforward and trustworthy. 10.Put your thoughts on the page... It’s rare that we produce anything without fault in one draft. So don’t be disheartened if copy doesn’t flow from your pen in perfect prose. Put your thoughts on paper and fine tune them at a later stage. We constantly perfect and refine our ideas. Sounding like us 11 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  13. 13. Examples Contents Prev Page Next Page
  14. 14. Tone of voice guidelines CPD submission —— Old Submit your CPD record card Dear Jennifer, We need to receive your record card for 2011-12 by 31 July 2012 to reward you with the recognition you deserve. If you miss out on this opportunity you will not receive your evidence of development certificate and you could miss out on one of your two consecutive years towards Chartered Marketer status. Once you have completed your CPD record card with the compulsory 35 hours of activities and supporting evidence, this can be e-mailed or submitted by post: Chartered CPD Programme The Chartered Institute of Marketing Moor Hall Cookham Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 9QH Alternatively, complete you record card online. If you have already sent us your record of activity with the necessary supporting evidence, please ignore this reminder - your submission is being processed. Kind regards, Jennifer Stevens MBS MCIM FInstCPD Chartered Marketer Chartered CPD Programme Manager PS: If successful you will then receive your evidence of development certificate - proof for potential employers, peers and colleagues that you are professional and up to date. —— New Hi Jennifer, To make sure you get the recognition you deserve, your record card needs to reach us by DD MONTH YYYY. You’ll be awarded your evidence of development certificate and 1 of your 2 consecutive years towards Chartered Marketer status once we’ve got everything we need; so remember to submit your evidence with plenty of time. As soon as you’re done, email your CPD record card and supporting evidence to ______ or send it via post to: Chartered CPD Programme The Chartered Institute of Marketing Moor Hall Cookham Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 9QH Alternatively, you can complete your record card online. Kind regards, Jennifer Stevens Head of Professional Development Examples 13 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  15. 15. Tone of voice guidelines Webinar email —— Old Hi Sandra, Consumers today expect brands to deliver relevant experiences and fulfil their needs at every touch point. Therefore, it’s important for marketers to manage and use the data that they collect to deliver smarter marketing campaigns. To succeed, marketers must adopt a data-driven culture by breaking down organizational silos and learning to work seamlessly with IT and analytics teams to drive innovation. Join our Views from the Top webinar, Want to boost business? Conquer the data! with Accenture Digital’s Managing Director, Conor McGovern, on Wednesday 29 April 2015 at 13:00 GMT to hear how leading organizations are harnessing the power of analytics and marketing economics thinking to drive high performance. Save your spot now! —— New Hi Sandra, Put yourself back in your consumer shoes. What is it you expect from brands? Like most consumers today, you probably expect brands to deliver relevant experiences and fulfil your needs at every touch point. So as a marketer, it’s important that you do exactly that. Using the data you collect effectively to deliver smarter marketing campaigns is essential. To succeed, marketers must adopt a data-driven culture by breaking down organisational silos and learning to work seamlessly with IT and analytics teams to drive innovation. Join our Views from the Top webinar, ‘Want to boost business? Conquer the data!’ with Accenture Digital’s Managing Director, Conor McGovern, to hear how leading organisations are harnessing the power of analytics to drive high performance. Save your spot now! Examples 14 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  16. 16. Tone of voice guidelines Assessment results email —— Old Dear Thank you for your query regarding your unsuccessful assessment result. As the Awarding Body, we would like to reassure you that our stringent procedures have been created to ensure that all students are treated fairly and given every opportunity to gain the most marks available on their assessment papers. To ensure that you have been given every chance to gain the highest marks, all results from 43% to 51% are double checked by our Senior Examiners before the results are released to students. Are you making full use of all the free study resources available to you on the CIM website? The Senior Examiners Reports may help you to identify areas where you may have been able to pick up more marks and achieve a higher grade. There is also the hints & tips section on the CIM student area for further guidance. The reports provide examples of answers than can be reasonably written within the allocated time. The answers demonstrate what is required to achieve a good pass mark, unless otherwise indicated in the comments. Remember when revising from these examples that there are no right or wrong answers. The examiners are looking for you to apply your own marketing knowledge and skills to the question set. These answers should be indicative of the contact and format that the examiners expect to see. Go to CIM Learning Zone to access the senior examiners reports Tutor support Talk to your tutor first for guidance. Your study centre may also be offering revision sessions or you may be able to join another class just before the next assessments. Knowledge Hub Now called Marketing Resources Access the most comprehensive marketing portal, containing thousands of market and company reports, top business journals and other reference materials to help you supplement your answers. Available online: http://www.cim.co.uk/Resources/ ResourcesHome.aspx Your one-stop Bookshop The list of recommended and core books for each module can be downloaded from the Learning Zone website. The books can be viewed and ordered online at CIM shop. Information and library services As a CIM member, you have access to free advice, discounted reference material and a library service that could help with your studies. For more information please go to Information and Library Services. Feedback Service – this service opens up on Friday 28 November 2014. In response to student requests for more detailed, contextualised feedback based on their scripts/assignments, we have two new options to ensure peace of mind and to increase the student’s chance of future success. Please note that the service is only available to students who failed their September 2014 module and students have until Friday 2 January 2015 to apply. Feedback Service – please click on this link to apply: http://www. cimlearningzone.co.uk/assessment/feedback-service Rebooking your assessments Please note that CIM can only book one assessment session at a time, so you should only book and pay for the modules you’re doing in this particular session, as fees cannot be transferred. If you need further clarification on what modules to book for this session, please contact your tutor before you book anything. You need to login to ‘My CIM’ with your username and pass word, and then click ‘Book Assessments’ and you will see all the modules listed, so you can book and pay for the module you’re taking this session. The March/April 2015 session will open up to students on Monday 1 December 2014 and the deadline to book online will be Friday 6 February 2015. The June/July 2015 session will open up to students on Monday 16 March 2015 and the deadline to book online will be Friday 1 May 2015. The December 2015 session will open up to students on Monday 17 August 2015 and the deadline to book online will be Friday 2 October 2015. I take this opportunity to wish you every success with your forthcoming studies. Examples 15 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  17. 17. Tone of voice guidelines Assessment results email —— New Dear Thank you for your query. We’d like to reassure you that we’ve created numerous processes to ensure you’re treated fairly and given every chance to gain the highest marks. We have all results from 43% to 51% double checked by our Senior Examiners before we release them. There’s no need to worry if you haven’t achieved the results you were hoping for. You can still make full use of all the free study resources available on our website. We’ve provided a range of Senior Examiners Reports to help you identify areas where you may be able to pick up more marks and achieve a higher grade. There is also our hints & tips section on the CIM student area for further guidance. If you take a look at our example answers, you’ll be able to get a clear idea of what’s expected of you in the allocated time. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Our examiners are looking for you to apply your own marketing knowledge and skills to the question set. As soon as you feel confident and ready, login to ‘My CIM’ with your username and password, and then click ‘Book Assessments’ to rebook your assessment. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you need any further support. Wishing you the best of luck with your forthcoming studies, <<NAME>> <<JOB TITLE>> Examples 16 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  18. 18. Tone of voice guidelines Cutting Edge to Marketing Pulse —— Old —— New View this e-mail in your browser Cutting Edge: Our weekly analysis of marketing news Employee participation in social media The author investigates the risks and benefits of employee social media use for a company’s reputation. Employees can act as powerful brand ambassadors and have an impact on an organisation’s reputation through their activities online. An eight-step strategic management approach to employees’ participation in social conversations is proposed comprising: research; internet access at the workplace; strong commitment from the C-suite; establishment of social media teams; implementation of guidelines and policies; training and education; integration; and goal setting and measurement. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol 19(4) 2014, pp344-356 (Dreher) Sainsbury’s ad - complaints but good metrics Sainsbury’s Christmas ad has resulted in 240 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. The ad, which recounts the story of the 1914 Christmas Day truce between British and German soldiers, has been described as “offensive” because it uses war to promote a company. Yet the ad has scored well on metrics such as engagement, originality, differential and engagement according to Waggener Edstrom’s Brand Agility Index. Sainsbury’s argues that it has worked closely with the Royal British Legion to get the ad right. Marketing Week, 20 November 2014, p4 Britain’s most popular food and drink The best-selling food and drink products in Britain are alcohol, soft drinks and crisps according to research commissioned by The Grocer. The list is headed up by Smirnoff Red Label vodka with Walkers crisps in second place. Although white bread has been in decline, white loaves from three major brands appeared in the top ten products. The results may set alarm bells ringing among health campaigners. The figures were based on top-branded products in the grocery market excluding the discounters. The Grocer, 22 November 2014, p34 Culture and relationship marketing International relationships are becoming more important to business performance but it is unclear how relationship marketing (RM) should be adapted for different cultures. The authors undertake an analysis of 47,864 relationships in 36 countries and propose four ideas that encapsulate the effect of culture on RM. The first study emphasises the importance of using a fine-grained approach to understanding the role of culture in RM because of the high level of diversity across different cultural and RM dimensions. The second study reveals that RM is more effective outside the US: relationships are 55% more effective in improving business performance in the BRIC countries. Journal of Marketing, Vol 78(5) 2014, pp78-98 (Samaha et al) Digitisation The digital transformation is leading both established businesses in traditional industries and start-up businesses to compete in new ways as they respond to the opportunities and threats deriving from digitisation. To achieve this, companies will have to revisit their business models and identify new opportunities to create and capture value. General Electric, which faced the threat of losing customers to non- traditional competitors, has invested heavily in the “Industrial Internet” and is evolving its business model. This has resulted in an additional $1.5 billion of incremental income after just three years. Harvard Business Review, November 2014, pp91-99 (Iansiti and Lakhani) Business model transformation Business model innovation helps businesses to reinvent themselves and compete better. Many businesses, such as Microsoft, GE, Google, Cisco and Apple are transforming themselves from a product-based to a solution-based model. The “Internet of Things” or the “Industrial Internet” is disrupting traditional business models, which means that businesses have to adapt in order to survive. The repercussions for strategic account management of business-model transformations are far-reaching. The author examines this in the context of the value-management process (value creation, value quantification and value capture) and the implications for strategic account managers. Velocity, Vol 17(3) 2014, pp17-18 (Liozu) For more topics, including visual metaphors in advertising and social selling, read the extended version of Cutting Edge. Earn CPD hours for reading the extended version of Cutting Edge. Update your details | MyCIM | Help | Contact us | Feedback Hi Kate, In this edition of Marketing Pulse: It’s an exciting time to be a marketer! From an explosion of channels and fragmentation of media, to new tools, technologies and ways of working; the marketing environment is evolving. Add in the rise of digital and social media, and all of a sudden the old, linear ways of planning, executing and reviewing are no longer fit for purpose. That's what we'll be exploring in this edition – how marketers can marry the rigour and discipline of campaign planning with a more agile, iterative approach that embraces our real-time world. A world where there should be more to integrated marketing communications than merely facts and figures. Learn how to move beyond the data and utilise the power of storytelling with our Practical Insights webinar. To make sure we’re prepared, we’ve reinvigorated the most important conversation in marketing today – how to adapt our industry to meet the demands of the future, Marketing 2025. And we’re not only looking to the future, but celebrating the now with our Marketing Excellence awards 2015. Take a look below to see how the evening unfolded. Upcoming features #PracticalInsights The Power of Storytelling, webinar - 19 May, 13:00 GMT, Anthony Tasgal, 'Insightment' and 'Trendstorming' expert Tasgal offers practical advice on how to think, speak and present information in stories not catalogues. __ Register now Initiatives Marketing 2025 Take a look at Simon from 02’s thoughts on the future of Digital. We're going to champion and reward the most forward-thinking marketers in the industry who help to predict and solve the challenges of the future. __ Join the conversation Events Marketing Excellence awards 2015 The cream of the marketing crop were out in force to celebrate marketers at the frontline of their business at the sixth annual CIM Marketing Excellence Awards. __ Read more How we can help Examples 17 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  19. 19. About us Contents Prev Page Next Page
  20. 20. Tone of voice guidelines Talking about CIM —— Our company name Generally speaking, we refer to ourselves as ‘CIM’. Without the ‘The’. But if we’re addressing an audience who has not heard of us, we may refer to ourselves as ‘CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing)’ at first mention to clarify our identity – using ‘CIM’ from then on. It is not necessary to use both forms in all circumstances. If in doubt, use CIM. —— Our company description “For more than 100 years, CIM has been supporting, representing and developing marketers, teams, leaders and the profession as a whole. Our networks have an unrivalled breadth, depth and diversity making this not just the largest community of marketers, but one with impact. We’re independent, trusted and connected, with access to unmatched ideas, insights and resources to help marketers navigate from problem diagnosis to practical solutions. Our vision is for marketing to be recognised for playing a pivotal role in business, constantly harnessing, integrating and acting on collective intelligence – and our role is to be the catalyst of that. Find out more at www.cim.co.uk.” —— Using our corporate name Always use the third person singular when writing about CIM. Incorrect: CIM are the world’s largest community of marketers… Correct: CIM is the world’s largest community of marketers… Incorrect: CIM have been supporting… Correct: CIM has been supporting… About us 19 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  21. 21. Grammar, spelling and punctuation Contents Prev Page Next Page
  22. 22. Tone of voice guidelines Grammar and spelling —— Conjunctions Explanation: Conjunctions are words that connect two words, sentences, phrases or clauses. Use: Normally, we don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. But we make an exception when using ‘and’ or ‘but’ to create a more dramatic effect. Example: The App Store and its multi-billion dollar economy weren’t in existence. And marketing technology implementations took months, not the moments they do now. —— Prepositions Explanation: Prepositions are usually used before nouns or pronouns to show their relationship to another word in the sentence. Use: Try to avoid beginning or ending a sentence with a preposition. If this leads to awkwardness then feel free to ignore it. Prepositions: • For • By • On • Of • At • To Etc. —— Split Infinitives Explanation: A split infinitive occurs where an adverb or adverbial phrase is placed between to and the bare infinitive of a verb – for example, to gently push. Use: Always aim to avoid splitting infinitives where possible. But where doing so limits creativity or results in a sentence sounding clumsy, choose the most natural/creative option. Be careful in considering where you’d like the emphasis to fall within your sentence. Example: You really have to watch him. You have to really watch him.* To go boldly To boldly go* *(split infinitive) Note Though the debates for and against splitting infinitives have continued for centuries, both are still widely used and accepted. —— American Vs British English We always use British English over American English. If in doubt, consult the Oxford Dictionary of English and use the word as it first appears. Correct: Colour/Flavour/Familiarise/etc. Incorrect: Color/Flavor/Familiarize/etc. Grammar, spelling and punctuation 21 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  23. 23. Tone of voice guidelines Punctuation —— Colons Colons point forward from premise to conclusion. So use them to stand between an introduction and main point or between causes and effects. They perform the same function as namely, that is, for example, as follows, because, etc. They can also be used to introduce a list. Example: It’s available in two sizes: large and small —— Commas Commas perform many functions, including: Enclosing non-restrictive clauses (If removed, sentence maintains its meaning.) Replacing parenthesis Separating two clauses Salutation Separating nouns Separating adjectives Correct: I love cooking Italian food, and I eat pasta pretty much every day. I try, as much as I can, to go to the gym every week. There was, however, plenty of water for everyone. Surprisingly, I’ve never been to Italy. Incorrect: I love cooking Italian food, I eat pasta pretty much every day. —— Exclamation Marks Only use to show emphasis or surprise. They shouldn’t be used in formal reports and documents. Nor used more than once at a time. Correct: Get involved! Incorrect: Get involved!!! —— Semi-colons Use to mark a pause longer than a comma and shorter than a full stop. Semi-colons join two independent clauses (containing closely related ideas) into one without using conjunctions. Semicolons are also used to separate units of a series or list when one or more of the units contain commas. Semi-colons needn’t be followed by capital letter, unless that letter is the first letter of a proper noun. Correct: We wanted a quiet night in; James wasn’t feeling great. We wanted to walk into town, but James wasn’t feeling great. I was only in my twenties, but I managed to visit London, England; Venice, Italy; and Paris, France. Incorrect: We wanted to walk into town; but James wasn’t feeling great. —— Quotation Marks Quotation marks (or inverted commas) are used to open and close quotation of direct speech. Quoted matter is usually enclosed between double quotation marks; using single quotations marks to denote a quotation within a quotation. Unfamiliar or newly-coined words and phrases can also be enclosed between single quotation marks. Place full stops and commas inside the quotes for a complete quoted sentence, otherwise the full stop should be outside. Example: “Doyouevenknow”,shesaid,“what‘capitalism’is?” “I’d be more than happy to!” he exclaimed. Grammar, spelling and punctuation 22 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  24. 24. Tone of voice guidelines Punctuation (cont.) —— Hyphens and Dashes Hyphens Hyphens should only be used where needed. Ignore them in commonly used words. If in doubt, consult the Oxford English Dictionary, and use the word as it first appears. In writing compound words, use hyphens where there is an awkward collision of vowels or consonants. Compound modifiers that come before a noun are also hyphenated. Be careful not to confuse a hyphen with a dash. Correct: E-business E-commerce Well-known organisation His name was well-known His is a well known name Incorrect: His name was well known His is a well-known name E-mail Dashes Dashes can be split into two types: En (–) and Em (—). Use an en dash (ctrl + - on a keyboard) with a space either side as a parenthetical dash (in place of brackets). A single en dash may also be used in place of a colon or comma at the end of a sentence. Example: He tried – a little too hard – to get the teacher’s attention. —— Apostrophes Use for contractions i.e. when a letter is missing. Use to show the possessive form e.g. the boy’s hat, the dog’s bone. For plurals ending in s, use an apostrophe for possession. Note that an apostrophe should never be used for a plural abbreviation or number. Contractions: Didn’t It’s (it is) Isn’t Possession: The dog’s bone (singular) The dogs’ bone (plural) Its beautiful fur (not to be confused with it’s) The neighbour’s dog (singular) The neighbours’ dog (plural) Correct: 90s, 80, 20s MPs (plural of MP) The MP’s speech (possession) Incorrect: 90’s, 80’s, 20’s MP’s Grammar, spelling and punctuation 23 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  25. 25. Our house style Contents Prev Page Next Page
  26. 26. Tone of voice guidelines Acronyms and things... —— Abbreviations and Acronyms Explanation: Abbreviations are phrases or words in their shortened form e.g. Dr. (doctor); whilst acronyms are a set of initials representing the name of an organisation or body e.g. CIM. Use: Well-known abbreviations and acronyms can be used in their familiar form (e.g. The BBC, The NHS, The FBI). Those less well known should be written in full on first appearance with their abbreviated form in brackets. Under no circumstances do we use two acronyms in direct succession. Where this instance occurs, always write one acronym in full. Our membership grades (MCIM, FCIM) are an exception to the rule. Correct: The Marketing Excellence Awards (MEA)… CIM’s Chief Executive Officer Incorrect: The MEAs… CIM’s CEO —— Numbers and Dates Currency $ and £ should be used over dollars and pounds. No pence zeros are necessary when written in text. Dates Use the following styles: • 08 July 2004 • 2003-04 for calendar years (in table headings, if space is tight, use 91-92) • 2003/04 for financial years • 1990s (note that there is no apostrophe) or 90s, not nineties Fractions For commonly-used fractions, always write figures as words in full e.g. a third, a quarter, a fifth and so on. Lesscommonly-usedfractionsmaytakeona%sign. 1-10 Use words for numbers under ten and figures for numerals from 11 upwards. Always start a sentence by spelling out a number in words; we never use a figure. Correct: £500 £85 08 July 2004 1990s 63% A quarter Incorrect: 500 pounds £85.00 8.07.04 8th July 2004 1990’s A ¼ of… 33.3% Our house style 25 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  27. 27. Tone of voice guidelines Acronyms and things... (cont.) Our house style —— Capitals Words should not be capitalised unless they are a name of a person, company or other entity. Other such entities can include brands, titles, events and sub-brands. We don’t, however, use capitals for the name of blog titles. Capitals are used for job titles where they appear on their own or before a name; not as part of a description. They are also capitalised on business cards, email signatures and in other similar instances. Correct: Chartered Institute of Marketing John Smith Her Majesty’s Government Senior Delivery Support Coordinator Beyond the ballot box: the implications of the UK’s ‘first Twitter election’ James Adams, managing director of Kingston Ltd., claims… Managing Director James Adams Incorrect: Beyond The Ballot Box: The Implications Of The UK’s ‘First Twitter Election’ James Adams, Managing Director of Kingston Ltd., claims… Senior delivery support coordinator —— Salutation and signature Salutation and signature (respectively) are both the first and last thing seen by your recipient. Make sure you choose the most appropriate option based on the format of your communication and relationship with the reader. Dear + yours sincerely/yours faithfully are fine for formal letters and email but have no place on social media. Hi/Hello/Morning/etc. + kind regards/ best wishes/many thanks are all acceptable when you want to tone down formality. Example (salutation): Chris, Dear Chris Hi Nick Hello Nick Good morning, Nick Example (signature): Warm Regards Kind regards Best regards Yours faithfully Yours sincerely Many thanks Thanks 26 Prev Page Next Page Contents
  28. 28. Contact Creative Team Redgrave Centre (upstairs) Moor Hall Cookham Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 9QH United Kingdom W cim.co.uk

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