Confident. We stop at nothing in the pursuit of our purpose.
Honest. We are direct and personal.
Fearless. We are brave and grounded.
Progressive. We are thought-provoking and non-conformist.
Why we do it
Tone of voice principles
1. we’re fearless. We take a strong stand in the face of society’s most pressing challenges. We challenge convention and forge our own paths. We embrace the unknown.
2. Write with intent. Use language for impact. Don’t waste words. Avoid phrases that are clichéd or over-used. Language should be confident, intentional and compelling.
3. Demonstrate impact. Use hard-hitting facts. Describe our impact and why it matters.
4. Show don't tell. Make the audience feel. Don’t tell them how to feel.
5. Use a journalistic approach. Use the tools of journalism – why, how, who, what, where, when. Use a journalistic tone rather than marketing “sing song”. Research the subject and have a rich understanding of it. Always be truthful.
6. Have a personality. Have a point of view. Use wit. Take a stand. Get excited. Be brave. Take risks. Don’t be bland.
7. Show our mental muscle. Write in a way that is both intelligent and accessible. Demonstrate critical thinking. Be topical and socially relevant. Give people something to think about.
8. Be relevant. Be generous towards the audience and care about what they care about. Truly connect.
9. Make people care. Think about the call to action. Give people a reason to do something. Research the subject and have a rich understanding of it. Always be truthful.
10. Avoid Formulas. Don’t “stand for purpose” everything. Only use the idea of purpose when it is relevant and compelling.
Some do’s and don’ts
- Use direct language
- Use evidence
- Use “why” to create a hook
- Lead with the motivator and follow with the validator
- Use real voices
- Use lists + facts, including as headlines
- Communicate the product
- Have a point of view
- Be committed
- Communicate confidence
- Build an argument for why people should care
- Keep copy up-to-date
- Engage with language
- Understand the audience
- Be verbose
- Write in generalisations
- Be generic
- Use formulaic language
- Use “chirpy “ language
- Be too formal or become a sandstone
- Be dry or dull
- Tell people what to think or feel
- Preach at people
- Be arrogant
- Tell people to care or act without explaining why
- Keep legacy copy (eg “connect” language)
- Over simplify language
- Use a one size fits all approach