Tone & Language Usage

TONE WORDS

The following words should be used as a guide when thinking about the emotion or attitude you want your content to convey:

  • Down-to-earth
  • Friendly
  • Relatable
  • Casual
  • Experienced

These are also the tone words that guide Design Extensions and should be reflected in any written content you create for Design Extensions.

REMEMBER STORY-BRAND 

When writing, ask these questions:

  • Is this clear?
  • Is this empathetic?
  • Is this telling a compelling story?
  • Is this going to help us (or them) grow our (or their) business/meet intent?

CONSIDER THE AUDIENCE

We write for many audiences, including:

  • Current clients
  • Prospective clients
  • Clients’ customers
  • Internal team
  • Industry peers
  • The general public

Identify the primary audience before starting to write. For example, a blog post about StoryBrand usually targets prospective clients and industry peers. They may be interested in a better understanding of the work we are doing here at Design Extensions and how it could impact them.

KEEP ATTENTION SPANS IN MIND 

Humans are easily distractible, so follow these guidelines when creating written content (for the sake of simplicity, we’ll call written content a “story”):

  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Each paragraph should have 2-3 sentences max (any more, and people tend to skip).
  • Keep it between 400–600 words.
  • If your story is long, consider pulling out some information and using it to write a second story (yay for additional content!). 
  • If your story is long and you want it long or it has to be long for some reason, be sure to use subheads (and lots of them). 
  • Link to other sites/stories to provide more information (also known as external links).
  • When applicable, link to our website/stories to encourage leads and traffic (also known as internal links).
  • Be original. 
  • Do not duplicate information that can easily be located elsewhere. 

GRAMMAR RULES (YES, YOU MUST READ THIS)

Consistent writing helps unify a message and allow the audience to better understand what is being presented, and who it is being presented by. Design Extensions generally follows Associated Press style (AP style), but we do make some exceptions (evaluated on a case-by-case basis). 

Note: If you have no idea what AP style is, that’s okay. Google the basics and, if you’re still confused, we’ve got a stylebook in-house you can check out (not to mention a content team who will be happy to help!). 

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Oxford Comma noun

  1. a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect).

We use it. 

 

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