Keeping Track of Words

Once your brand is established, you should set up a brand standards guide. And as copy is written for the web, ads, even business cards, you’ll also need a Style Guide for the words you use. 

A Style Guide is a document that contains company addresses, phone numbers, product and people names, industry terms—any and all words and phrases you want to keep consistent no matter what type of communication you’re putting together. Using the same terms and writing style in copy is one of the keys to keeping your established brand consistent as you write press releases, blogs, emails and ads. 

A Style Guide is a document listing terms in alphabetical order. The guide keeps track of taglines, the proper spelling of people’s names and their titles, company address and phone number. It’s a place to record capitalization styles (are you going to uppercase or lowercase departments or services you offer?), use of the series comma (will you use a comma before “and” in a series or not?) and other grammar issues. 

This is not a stagnant document. You add new terms to the Style Guide as you use them, and new products as they are developed. 

No matter who creates the document—the writer, editor, proofreader, marketing department—everyone should know it’s available. Ask one person to keep the main document and update it and send out revised versions as needed.