Brighter Collective
Editorial Style Guide
Prepared by Brighter
Andrew Kaufman – Senior Content Strategist
akaufman@brighte...
What is an
Editorial Style Guide?
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

It’s a manual of general rules
and guidance for all internal and
external communication...
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

It’s not a bible

Confidential and Proprietary |

4
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

It’s a reference
guide

Confidential and Proprietary |

5
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

To help promote consistency

Confidential and Proprietary |

6
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

Not uniformity

Confidential and Proprietary |

7
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

Why do we need this guide?

Confidential and Proprietary |

8
How will this guide help
me?
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

Learn
how to communicate the core brand messages and values that
help differentiate Bri...
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

Improve
your written communication skills by learning the basic
principles of good writ...
What is an Editorial Style Guide?

Help
promote consistency in all communications, from the
smallest details to the larges...
Message Architecture
Message Architecture

What we want our
audience to think

is
Confidential and Proprietary |

14
Message Architecture

Confident
We immerse ourselves in our client’s organizations to truly
understand what they need to a...
Message Architecture

Supportive
We share our knowledge and expertise to support our
clients in making the changes they ne...
Message Architecture

Thorough
We take the time to understand our client’s challenges in
their entirety…

Confidential and...
Message Architecture

Responsible
We create big-picture strategies grounded in the little, day-today details because we kn...
Message Architecture

Enthusiastic
We love what we do: it’s that simple…

Confidential and Proprietary |

19
Voice & Tone
Voice & Tone

Voice

Confidential and Proprietary |

21
Voice & Tone

Tone

Confidential and Proprietary |

22
What is Brighter’s
Tone of Voice?
Voice & Tone

Brighter’s Tone of Voice
Authentic

but not sentimental or folksy

Confident

but not arrogant or aggressive...
How to be Authentic
Voice & Tone

Authentic
• Write how you would talk to a good friend.
• Use plain, natural language.
• Avoid corporate buzz...
Voice & Tone

Good Example
“We don’t speculate. We roll up our sleeves and do
research using a variety of tools, including...
Voice & Tone

Bad Example
“We like to think outside the box in order to synthesize
learnings and provide actionable insigh...
How to be Confident
Voice & Tone

Confident
• Don’t make bold claims or boasts.
• Use active sentences and constructions.
• Be direct, not hes...
Voice & Tone

Good Example
“BRIGHTER’s marketing campaign intelligence and
business consulting solutions produce the vital...
Voice & Tone

Bad Example
“To say that we’re a world-class organization would
be an understatement. Our flawless track rec...
How to be Intelligent
Voice & Tone

Intelligent
• Strive for clarity and comprehension.
• Make bold statements, but not fanciful ones.
• Speak w...
Voice & Tone

Good Example
“We believe the secret ingredient to brand
awareness and loyalty lies somewhere between
experie...
Voice & Tone

Bad Example
“Our brand-centric expertise can help make your
company become a household name by
emphasizing s...
How to be Eager
Voice & Tone

Eager
• Use warm and simple language.
• Convey a positive sentiment.

• Be genuinely interested in making th...
Voice & Tone

Good Example
“I’d love to get your Google Analytics login
information when you get a chance. I’m excited to
...
Voice & Tone

Bad Example
“Hey, can I get that Google Analytics login info? I
really want to start crunching the numbers a...
How to be Casual
Voice & Tone

Casual
• Write like you speak.
• Use contractions – we’re, it’s – not full form.
• No marketing terms unless...
Voice & Tone

Good Example
“We call Los Angeles our home. And just like our
hometown, we know how to have fun.”

Confident...
Voice & Tone

Bad Example
“Welcome to our website. We are a digital marketing
agency based in Los Angeles, California. Our...
How to be Intentional
Voice & Tone

Intentional
• Each word and paragraph has a purpose.
• Only contribute if an idea or thought is needed.
• Do...
Voice & Tone

Good Example
“We are an adaptive marketing agency that
embraces change in a pursuit for improvement.”

Confi...
Voice & Tone

Bad Example
“The industry is constantly experiencing change.
Change is a way of life.”

Confidential and Pro...
Who we are
Who we are

“We are an Adaptive Agency…”

Confidential and Proprietary |

50
Who we are

“We are not a
[marketing company]
[technology company]
[content company]
…”

Confidential and Proprietary |

5...
Who we are

What does that mean?
Adaptive agencies differ from traditional agencies in
significant ways the most important...
But that’s not all…
More

What else is in the Editorial Style Guide?
• How to use our name and tagline
• What it means to be an adaptive agenc...
Go forth and represent
Brighter well!

55
Thank
You.
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What is an Editorial Style Guide?

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An editorial style guide is an essential tool for organizations that want to maintain consistency in their written communications. This is Brighter Collective's editorial style guide.

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  • As a representative of the Brighter brand, you should always strive to provide a consistent voice and tone in your written and verbal communications. Whether you’re writing an email, blog post, conference presentation or speech, try to keep in mind that the key messages discussed in the messaging architecture should serve as the foundation for all communication.
  • Voice has to do with the personality of the author – who is talking. While we all have different ways of thinking about the universe and expressing how we feel, when you’re writing on behalf of an organization or brand, it’s helpful to think of the organization as if it’s a person - what would they be like, how would they talk, what would their voice be?
  • Tone isn’t about what you say; it’s about how you say it…And how you say something usually depends on how you feel about what you’re saying.When writing, your tone can be influenced by: Your choice of wordsThe details you include, as well as those you leave outThe sentence structure you useHow you address your reader
  • Active vs. Passive: With active voice, the subject is doing the action. “Steve loves Amy.” Passive voice would be “Amy is loved by Steve”Be direct: Use “do” and “will” not “can” or “could”
  • There is only one, correct way to refer to Brighter
  • There is only one, correct way to refer to Brighter
  • What is an Editorial Style Guide?

    1. 1. Brighter Collective Editorial Style Guide Prepared by Brighter Andrew Kaufman – Senior Content Strategist akaufman@brightercollective.com | 310 857 2915 12115 West Bluff Creek Drive Los Angeles CA 90094 www.brightercollective.com
    2. 2. What is an Editorial Style Guide?
    3. 3. What is an Editorial Style Guide? It’s a manual of general rules and guidance for all internal and external communication. Confidential and Proprietary | 3
    4. 4. What is an Editorial Style Guide? It’s not a bible Confidential and Proprietary | 4
    5. 5. What is an Editorial Style Guide? It’s a reference guide Confidential and Proprietary | 5
    6. 6. What is an Editorial Style Guide? To help promote consistency Confidential and Proprietary | 6
    7. 7. What is an Editorial Style Guide? Not uniformity Confidential and Proprietary | 7
    8. 8. What is an Editorial Style Guide? Why do we need this guide? Confidential and Proprietary | 8
    9. 9. How will this guide help me?
    10. 10. What is an Editorial Style Guide? Learn how to communicate the core brand messages and values that help differentiate Brighter from other organizations. Confidential and Proprietary | 10
    11. 11. What is an Editorial Style Guide? Improve your written communication skills by learning the basic principles of good writing across different channels. Confidential and Proprietary | 11
    12. 12. What is an Editorial Style Guide? Help promote consistency in all communications, from the smallest details to the largest messages. Confidential and Proprietary | 12
    13. 13. Message Architecture
    14. 14. Message Architecture What we want our audience to think is Confidential and Proprietary | 14
    15. 15. Message Architecture Confident We immerse ourselves in our client’s organizations to truly understand what they need to achieve their goals... Confidential and Proprietary | 15
    16. 16. Message Architecture Supportive We share our knowledge and expertise to support our clients in making the changes they need to adapt their business and position it for sustainable growth… Confidential and Proprietary | 16
    17. 17. Message Architecture Thorough We take the time to understand our client’s challenges in their entirety… Confidential and Proprietary | 17
    18. 18. Message Architecture Responsible We create big-picture strategies grounded in the little, day-today details because we know that a strategy is only useful if it’s executable and scalable… Confidential and Proprietary | 18
    19. 19. Message Architecture Enthusiastic We love what we do: it’s that simple… Confidential and Proprietary | 19
    20. 20. Voice & Tone
    21. 21. Voice & Tone Voice Confidential and Proprietary | 21
    22. 22. Voice & Tone Tone Confidential and Proprietary | 22
    23. 23. What is Brighter’s Tone of Voice?
    24. 24. Voice & Tone Brighter’s Tone of Voice Authentic but not sentimental or folksy Confident but not arrogant or aggressive Intelligent but not condescending Eager but not annoying Casual but not laidback Intentional but not rigid Confidential and Proprietary | 24
    25. 25. How to be Authentic
    26. 26. Voice & Tone Authentic • Write how you would talk to a good friend. • Use plain, natural language. • Avoid corporate buzzwords or jargon. • Omit needless words. • Don’t use too many adjectives and modifiers. • Show, don’t tell. Confidential and Proprietary | 26
    27. 27. Voice & Tone Good Example “We don’t speculate. We roll up our sleeves and do research using a variety of tools, including social listening software, lots of data and, yes, even books.” Confidential and Proprietary | 27
    28. 28. Voice & Tone Bad Example “We like to think outside the box in order to synthesize learnings and provide actionable insights. By leveraging industry leading cross-platform solutions, our dynamic, experienced team of visionaries is able to deliver high level mission-critical analysis and best practice recommendations designed to help empower you to take your business to the next level.” Confidential and Proprietary | 28
    29. 29. How to be Confident
    30. 30. Voice & Tone Confident • Don’t make bold claims or boasts. • Use active sentences and constructions. • Be direct, not hesitant. • Don’t over promise. • Use facts and real-world examples. Confidential and Proprietary | 30
    31. 31. Voice & Tone Good Example “BRIGHTER’s marketing campaign intelligence and business consulting solutions produce the vital evidence and data that is used by marketing professionals, CEOs, content producers, publishers and studio executives alike.” Confidential and Proprietary | 31
    32. 32. Voice & Tone Bad Example “To say that we’re a world-class organization would be an understatement. Our flawless track record makes us the top choice for companies looking to increase conversions and positive brand sentiment – no matter what your budget is.” Confidential and Proprietary | 32
    33. 33. How to be Intelligent
    34. 34. Voice & Tone Intelligent • Strive for clarity and comprehension. • Make bold statements, but not fanciful ones. • Speak with authority, but not without humility. • Respect the intelligence of your readers. • Don’t keep repeating the same idea or point. Confidential and Proprietary | 34
    35. 35. Voice & Tone Good Example “We believe the secret ingredient to brand awareness and loyalty lies somewhere between experience, authenticity and engagement.” Confidential and Proprietary | 35
    36. 36. Voice & Tone Bad Example “Our brand-centric expertise can help make your company become a household name by emphasizing systematic congruency and consistency across multiple channels.” Confidential and Proprietary | 36
    37. 37. How to be Eager
    38. 38. Voice & Tone Eager • Use warm and simple language. • Convey a positive sentiment. • Be genuinely interested in making things better. • Care about the details. • Avoid sounding stiff, academic or somber. • Avoid sounding annoyed or impatient. Confidential and Proprietary | 38
    39. 39. Voice & Tone Good Example “I’d love to get your Google Analytics login information when you get a chance. I’m excited to get a first-hand look at the data to see if we can find any trends that might be helpful.” Confidential and Proprietary | 39
    40. 40. Voice & Tone Bad Example “Hey, can I get that Google Analytics login info? I really want to start crunching the numbers and I need the password to get in.” Confidential and Proprietary | 40
    41. 41. How to be Casual
    42. 42. Voice & Tone Casual • Write like you speak. • Use contractions – we’re, it’s – not full form. • No marketing terms unless absolutely required. Confidential and Proprietary | 42
    43. 43. Voice & Tone Good Example “We call Los Angeles our home. And just like our hometown, we know how to have fun.” Confidential and Proprietary | 43
    44. 44. Voice & Tone Bad Example “Welcome to our website. We are a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, California. Our portfolio of clients includes numerous Fortune 500 companies. Our cutting-edge work redefines what can and cannot be done.” Confidential and Proprietary | 44
    45. 45. How to be Intentional
    46. 46. Voice & Tone Intentional • Each word and paragraph has a purpose. • Only contribute if an idea or thought is needed. • Don’t talk to talk or add words just to be involved. Confidential and Proprietary | 46
    47. 47. Voice & Tone Good Example “We are an adaptive marketing agency that embraces change in a pursuit for improvement.” Confidential and Proprietary | 47
    48. 48. Voice & Tone Bad Example “The industry is constantly experiencing change. Change is a way of life.” Confidential and Proprietary | 48
    49. 49. Who we are
    50. 50. Who we are “We are an Adaptive Agency…” Confidential and Proprietary | 50
    51. 51. Who we are “We are not a [marketing company] [technology company] [content company] …” Confidential and Proprietary | 51
    52. 52. Who we are What does that mean? Adaptive agencies differ from traditional agencies in significant ways the most important difference is that traditional agencies focus on accomplishing a defined “scope of work.” Adaptive agencies work toward delivering a “scope of value.” Confidential and Proprietary | 52
    53. 53. But that’s not all…
    54. 54. More What else is in the Editorial Style Guide? • How to use our name and tagline • What it means to be an adaptive agency • Scripts for how to explain our brand/vision • Tips on writing fundamentals • Advice on understanding your audience • Common written and verbal errors Confidential and Proprietary | 54
    55. 55. Go forth and represent Brighter well! 55
    56. 56. Thank You.

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