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February 4, 2014 Transcript of #CommsChat on language and tone of voice

Last week’s #CommsChat was a fascinating discussion of tone of voice, use of language and the ability to communicate using a company’s personality to its own benefit. We’ve selected a handful of interesting tweets. Also take a look at the full hour below, which is chock-full of insight.

  • @TheWriter  Because it’s what people relate to. It’s hard to feel an affinity to a logo, but words make a connection – good or bad.
  • @TheWriter  Start by thinking about who you are. Tone of voice isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing
  • @adamrubins  tone of voice is everything. It’s your individuality, your character and represents your brand values
  • @AllthingsIC  Tone of voice increasingly being inc in branding guidelines for orgs. Reflects importance of int and ext alignment in all aspects
  • @NafisaNathani  Tone of voice=brand personality. Essentially people “buy into” people so humanising brand helps create authenticity&trust
  • @Rob_McTaggart  London Fire aims to hit young professionals & put our tongue in our cheek to get them on board & think out fire #sexsells
  • @TheWriter  Stay true to your brand. Who are you? Who are your audience? What’s your heritage? And stay consistent.
  • @innocentdrinks: you really don’t want to bank with us. We lost our chequebook down a sofa in 2005.

 

 

  1. hi, yes just past 8am. On train, balancing bags and often commuters while tweeting

  2.  

    Hah! Fantastic: RT : you really don’t want to bank with us. We lost our chequebook down a sofa in 2005.

  3.  

    Hey Kim, must be morning over on your side of the world, good to see you in . Hope you have a good day

  4.  

    Excellent tonight. Thanks for making me challenge my own thinking people.

  5.  

    thanks and night all, I’ll think of you as I start my full day’s work 🙂

  6.  

    Joking aside, I find them too informal from a council. Maybe some brands could get away with them

  7.  

    Thanks everyone. Get in touch with any more questions.

  8.  

    don’t talk down to your audience. Find a balance between getting your point across & engaging those you target

  9.  

    Thanks Bee. Will look out for transcript tomorrow to read what I missed at start. Thanks

  10.  

    So feel free to continue chatting, but I’ll be signing off for the evening. G’night all!

  11.  

    Don’t agree tone of voice should be platform specific.Need have unified tone across all channels, type of content posted changes

  12.  

    A6) That dealing with tone of voice means dealing with people, both int & ext. Make smart choices to protect your reputation

  13.  

    We’re going to post the transcript as usual in the AM and this will be a great one to refer back to when dealing w/your own tone

  14.  

    ensure they represent your brand values, be confident, engage with your audience and think before you write

  15.  

    Well fantastic tonight, guys. Please join me in thanking Bee from for her insights.

  16.  

    Stay true to your brand. Who are you? Who are your audience? What’s your heritage? And stay consistent.

  17.  

    Amen 🙂 I like them to diffuse situations and for winning people round – draw the line using them outside mentions

  18.  

    It should be built out from an orgs. true values or it will appear false & gaps will open up that trust falls through

  19.  

    fine in moderation on social media but nowhere else – useful to imply tone with limited characters

  20.  

    A regular debate in our HQ. But we generally say try to get it across in tone so you don’t need 🙂

  21.  

    absolutely! In my opinion, it is as, if not more, important than the key messages in a social media strategy

  22.  

    What’s the most important thing to remember when dealing with tone of voice?

  23.  

    Three minutes left of . I’m gonna ask Bee for one final thought on tone…

  24.  

    And help that brand and culture feel authentic – when the tone goes into everything.

  25.  

    Definitely. A mixture of who you are and who your audience is.

  26.  

    MT : single tone of voice tricky for orgs like councils who have to do regulatory stuff

  27.  

    Fascinating & very timely debate on brand tone of voice tonight . Will read timeline at work. . Vital area to get right.

  28.  

    Five minutes to go – where does everyone stand on smileys? 🙂

  29.  

    Creating familiar tone of voice ie brand personality can also help customers &employees feel part of the brand&company culture

  30.  

    The secret is to find the Voice of the Brand. It’s usually a partner tone; not stilted business speak.

  31. Hi Bridget, excellent stuff, would love to know more. You’re very welcome to guest blog if you can/fancy.

  32.  

    A great tone gets into every corner of the business – ts&cs, call centres and advertising.

  33.  

    Ideally, ppl suited to values should be recruited so voice shouldn’t have to be ‘forced’

  34.  

    A5) Constantly review – on normal day, after unique situation, with wider biz. Tone of voice reflects more than the comms team

  35.  

    we’re looking to put our people – firefighters & staff – at the heart of our new brand guide. They are the brand

  36.  

    true, pleased with my team for the dead parrot tweet last week on opportunity not to be missed

  37.  

    There’s also qualitative data – employee and customer surveys etc. We recommend spot checks too.

  38.  

    . So efficiency matters. What about customer satisfaction?

  39.  

    Just 7 more minutes to about tone of voice, language and company culture

  40.  

    yes, not just written, include tone of voice conversation tips for staff – managing the handshake moment

  41.  

    One of our clients managed to save thousands by cutting down call times. Another could reply to more letters in a day.

  42.  

    ahh, helps when you head the Corp Comms & Customer Service-type team like me. Consistency hopefully

  43.  

    get all stakeholders in a room and have an open discussion. From CRM to ad team, everyone has a view on tone of voice

  44.  

    Tricky one because characters count on Twitter, so ‘sorry’ may be ok (situation dependent)

  45.  

    evaluate whether a tone of voice programme’s been a success, or whether one’s needed?

  46.  

    if its digital its about engagement vs likes. But it all comes back to reputation and sales

  47.  

    Great suggestion. It’s about empathy. "Apologies for any inconvenience caused" isn’t the same as sorry.

  48. London Fire aims to hit young professionals & put our tongue in our cheek to get them on board & think out fire

  49.  

    ha I use that very image in my course to demonstrate the importance of checking

  50.  

    Getting last topic in just under the wire, priceless: What steps should a company take to evaluate its tone of voice?

  51.  

    I guess that you know the tone that a brand will have when you allow them to email you.

  52.  

    Tone of voice increasingly being inc in branding guidelines for orgs. Reflects importance of int and ext alignment in all aspects

  53.  

    MT : tone of voice is essentially customer service. Amuses me when cos. have great digital tone but awful over phone

  54.  

    play the "In their shoes" comms game. What would your reaction be as your audience? Keep, chat, delete, complain?

  55.  

    It’s a tricky one. If they were saying sorry for, say, the Twitter going down, would the reaction have been as bad?

  56.  

    ALL: Importance of details and extent of comms through biz. MT : Does their cookies policy reflect their packaging?

  57.  

    ditto re too much individual personality in what is a serious customer message

  58.  

    obviously can work the other way too – winning an audience over even when they dislike the message

  59.  

    Great summary –> RT : the right tone should reflect the organisation and be tailored to the channel

  60.  

    True, but sometimes they forget about the nooks and crannies. Does their cookies policy reflect their packaging?

  61.  

    Read this –> MT : A4) I wrote about TfL last wk as they Tweeted "soz" post-disruption.

  62.  

    the right tone should reflect the organisation and be tailored to the channel

  63.  

    A4) I wrote about TfL last wk as they Tweeted "soz" post-disruption. Read views from Comms pros re: slang:

  64.  

    Exactly. If you’re cold & distant when delivering bad news, your customers will think you don’t care.

  65.  

    . Consumer-facing brands tend to excel at this. Maybe bc tone is extension of ?

  66.  

    tone can make or break comms – a poor choice can immediately alienate an audience

  67.  

    Tone of voice=brand personality. Essentially people "buy into" people so humanising brand helps create authenticity&trust

  68.  

    All brands have to deliver bad news sometimes. But the way you deliver it can make a huge difference. As showed.

  69.  

    A4) Your reputation can be dented through poor choice. Take calculated risks and choose wisely

  70.  

    Hi Amanda, a bit actually! All about tone, language and personality in comms. Not too late to join though!

  71.  

    This is a very good point. It mirrors the usage of each platform.

  72.  

    a poorly chosen & executed tone can be an immediate turn-off

  73.  

    I’ve featured on my blog re: living their values as they are their "DNA"

  74.  

    It depends on how familiar, and who from. Would you mind a clothe’s shop emailing you with "Hello?"

  75.  

    Words to live by in comms RT : Consider your audience

  76.  

    T4: What impact does a suitable tone have on comms (internal, consumer, IR, etc)? A poorly chosen one?

  77.  

    tone of voice should be platform specific too. Twitter tone of voice different to Facebook etc. Consider your audience

  78.  

    True! I know a brand whose tone is totally outrageous. Never seen anything like it. Spanish tech shop

  79.  

    I think as with anything if you see something that works, it’s easier to copy than start from scratch

  80.  

    Hi, tips would be keep it real. Literally. Ensure values are tangible, accessible & not just words on wall

  81.  

    Totally agree >> RT : One favourites re tone, I quite enjoy which can be fantastically fantastical.

  82.  

    Gonna try and squeeze the next couple topics in! Carry on with 1-3 if you want, though

  83.  

  84.  

    made a lot of people realise they could wield words to build their brand. …

  85.  

    I think it’s appropriateness of situation rather than age; poor choice of language jars, whatever age.

  86.  

    I’m sorry non-comms geek followers: is very good tonight. I’ll be massively into it for the next 30 mins – normal service after

  87.  

    One favourites re tone, I quite enjoy which can be fantastically fantastical.

  88.  

    Any other tips for getting your people to live your brand & values?

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