So should you.
Dom Sagolla and Adam Jackson have published “140 Characters, A Style Guide for the Short Form” so Twitterers can bundle their micro-messages with proper form, usage and composition.
If Twitter gets an editorial style guide, it’s time you marketing program developed one as well.
A style guide is a copy editor’s best friend. It gives us structure. Validates our red-pen markups. But more important than assuaging our anal editing tendencies, a style guide helps communicate your brand consistently across all marketing platforms.
When writers and editors have rules to abide by, they get projects right on the first pass. And as a client, you deserve to get the custom content you want without rounds and rounds of revisions.
If you aren’t sure where to start with a style guide, editors aren’t really shy about sharing their opinions. Here are a few of the many issues you may want to consider when building your guide:
- Do you want to use Chicago, AP, or a combination of the two as your style base?
- Will you use serial commas? More lovely without, but totally your call.
- How to format phone numbers? It seems insignificant, but they should always appear in one, easy-to-read format.
- Will you capitalize job titles? This makes people look important, but it’s quite unnecessary.
- How to display web addresses and links? Bolded addresses draw attention. And will you ditch the “www.” prefix? It’s so 1999.
- Do you favor certain spellings? Gray/grey; orthopedic/orthopaedic; adviser/advisor
- Is there specific language you want to use for disclaimers, calls to action, etc.?
- Are there words, phrases or concepts that you want to avoid at all costs? One client has banned the word “suffer” from its magazine along with any mention of animal testing.