Tone of voice – the way we use language to reinforce our brand identity and inspire people to engage – is no longer the new kid on the block for charity communicators.
Even so, I’m surprised how often I see charities adopting a voice that’s at odds with their brand personality, or retreating to a much more formal style when they’re caught on the back foot. And while things are improving, charity communicators are still far more likely to say they have visual identity rules than verbal or voice identity guidelines.
Maintaining a consistent brand, that expresses your true values and helps position you in the mind of your most important audiences, is vital to engagement. That’s why in the early days of Self Comms, I wrote Pitch Perfect: Linking voice and values for CharityComms – the first comprehensive guide to brand language and tone of voice for the social sector.
The guide, packed with case studies and practical suggestions from leading charity communicators, was most recently updated in early 2016, and its core principles remain as true now as they were then. If you’re grappling with tone of voice, it’s a good place to start.