You’ll also use three worksheets to run the branding exercises, but don’t give those worksheets out in advance. This is the only exercise where participants will answer from their own perspective, rather than trying to step into the shoes of their personas. Here's what you can do: Title tag: The page title tag is the blue hyperlinked text you see when a search engine generates a list of results. Double negative: The procedure will not be ineffective. To help make sure your page ranks high in search results, use page titles that: When you post a publication online, you must adapt it for the web. An overview of content style guide basics; and. It’s kind of like when people look at the HubSpot marketing automation platform and expect it to be their inbound strategy, in addition to being the mechanism by which their strategy is executed. At IMPACT, we solved this challenge by developing a two-hour content style guide workshop. Text in a link gets some context from the web page's content. Available in print and ebook editions. Don't use an abbreviation or acronym unless it's better known to the widest audience than its long-form equivalent. To make your content readable, consider your audience's reading level and literacy needs. If you plan to have it available in print, that’s fine, too. The use of plain language is a requirement of the Directive on the Management of Communications. In this context, style refers to what your content looks like. Yes, clients hire us to do this for them. Having clear and consistently formatted headings helps your web team produce the web pages more quickly and with fewer errors. with your team around how your brand should be portrayed and perceived, which means your. The benefits of this simple approach speak for themselves: By design, your content style will prioritize what your ideal customers want -- not your team -- because it was developed for them, based on their preferences and what they need. The Canada Revenue Agency will inform you if you have to repay benefits. Generally speaking, the good ones include some form of all the following elements: Brand personality traits. Finally, at a high-level, your content will be better across the board and more effective at attracting the right people. It's also public-facing, but much more comprehensive. To make information useful to the widest possible audience: The following table is complex and poorly designed. We did a video conference call walkthrough with a copywriter for a website project, and they said afterward. If your roll-out strategy is “send the style guide as a link in an email,” expect to be underwhelmed by the number of people who save it to read for later… and then never do. Passive: You may be asked to provide proof of citizenship. We believe it’s a fantastic foundational tool on which to build your content style, but don’t be afraid to take it in a different direction. Make gender-inclusive writing your standard practice. Your communications team can help determine whether it's appropriate to communicate with audiences in other languages, in addition to Canada's official languages. Put another way, your style is the packaging and polish you put on your strategic messages, not the strategic messages themselves. AP style broke the collective brain of editors all over the country when they announced in 2016 that “internet” should no longer be capitalized; the exception is to pretend that didn’t happen and to always capitalize “Internet.”. When a link leads to content available only on internal government networks, write "(accessible only on the Government of Canada network).". In a lot of cases, you’ll still need some serious thinking time to bring it all together, but you’ll probably have a good idea during the workshop about some of the choices that need to be made. If the link leads to content only available in: Write: Find out how to renew your French passport while abroad in Canada (French only). Don't duplicate information provided on another organization's website. DEFINITION:QUALITY REVIT CONTENT Quality Revit content For example, you can write: Place only one idea in each bulleted item. There is no right way to synthesize the data, so do it in a way that makes the most sense for you. It should be used by anyone on your team -- or freelancers who work with you -- who will be creating content for your brand. For example: January to March 2016 (instead of Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4). If you think this will not be an issue for your team, still, do not skip this exercise. That’s why you want people to feel something about the words that they chose. They'll guide you on how to make sure the image is accessible to people using assistive technology. This training should also include an overview of the benefits of having a style guide. People fundamentally do not like being told what to think about anything -- especially about brands. The Associated Press Stylebook (AP style)The standard for many newspapers and magazines. The information in it came from a data table. As discussed in a previous blog post, âThe Importance of Brand Consistencyâ, consistent branding (Review Chapter 1 of this guide, if you need a refresher! Because, while there are a lot of great copywriting books out there to help you level-up your marketing writing game, you still need a foundational style guide. It makes it possible for people using assistive technologies to access the information conveyed by an image. Here's how to create your own house style guide in just six simple steps. Going back again to that old adage of, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” your messaging strategy is the WHAT and your content style is the HOW. You can do this by: Write: We received your request for funding and approved it. An editorial style guide is a set of editorial rules that ensure brand consistency. There are no rules around how many dos and don’ts you should include, although don’t include rules for the sake of it. The purpose of these rules is to make web content easy to find, easy to understand and easy to use for everyone, including people who have physical or cognitive disabilities. The styles feature clearly differentiates headings from content and helps you format headings consistently. Don't switch from speaking to people to speaking on their behalf. And we’re now going to teach you how to facilitate it on your own! every time they need to write a 900-word blog post, especially if it could have been shortened to the length of a press release and been just as effective in explaining what they needed to know about content style. But this content piece we’re focusing on in this guide is what we want you to see differently. Use it with the Canada.ca Content and Information Specification when you're designing and organizing web content. (You can read the full guide without giving us your email -- keep scrolling!). They should have their chance to shine. That’s a great question, but you want to keep them focused on the task at-hand, and you don’t want to accidentally influence their choices by pivoting the discussion to the methodology behind the workshop. Providing links to other relevant web pages can help people find related information quickly. Use as few words as possible to express an idea. A consistent tone and style can make your content easier to read by reducing your usersâ cognitive load and increasing their confidence in the contentâs authority. What’s unique about our team that made us the ones who finally fixed the problem? What’s fun about this is that while the exercises for both were the same in the workshop, the output is quite different for each. Two is a nice minimum, because it allows you to create a balance between two tonal qualities that can be scaled or differently weighted, as needed, depending on context. But having it available online (either in an internal intranet, in a Google Slide Deck, or available publicly online, like MailChimp), will make it accessible and easy to update, when you need to make changes. You could probably put all of these items into a single document, but no one will want to use it. People who have learning disabilities may find it difficult to scan and understand long sentences and paragraphs. Unfortunately, most articles aren’t very helpful in this regard, especially when it comes to developing your voice and tone guidelines. Make sure the main keywords of the link text correspond to the page title so that people know they're in the right place. In our experience, some brand teams and leaders are ultimately shocked by how much discussion is required to create a piece of documentation that may end up being fairly straightforward and “simple.” As a result, they try to over-engineer the final product by making it longer, because they equate complexity and length with importance. In that case. Your tone will be situational and should be adapted to accommodate different scenarios. login credentials for a client’s AP Stylebook subscription (if available); and, At IMPACT, we solved this challenge by developing a. . Technically, you could do this afterward if you really need some sort of style guide. Instead of: The period of time that you have to file your tax return ends on April 30. But if you hear any of these objections, you cannot cave. We typically see this with new startups, where they’re having these conversations for the first time -- which totally makes sense. A content style guide is part of a larger content strategy that should be unique to your users, their needs, and what the business is trying to accomplish. Lowercase the short form of proper names. Most people come to a government website to complete a task and expect us to provide information that will help them. Available in print and with an online subscription -- although the latter is geared in pricing toward institutions, such as universities. Yes, perfect is and always will be the enemy of good, but if you don’t have a handle on your brand’s content style, you can run into a lot of trouble: ...many of them will get stuck on the one thing you did wrong. She also works closely with in-house contributors and IMPACT partners as an editor, content strategist, and sounding board, to help them bring their own stories to life. This is where the magic happens -- the words on the page prompt participants to share their real feelings. The requirements apply to departments and other organizations of the federal public administration listed in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act. No matter what you say or how compelling your ideas are, your physical presentation of how you showed up would be a complete distraction, sending an entirely different message than what you were intending. Western conference National Hockey League : Avoid formatting cells with textures or colours, because it can make text difficult to read. Depending on the unique needs of a client, we may also include other optional sections -- for instance, exceptions for social media, core values, how to handle competitor references, or examples of “best in class” blog examples or other types of content. Following this guide's rules and techniques will make it easier for everyone to find, understand and use the government's digital content. Use "we" and "our" when writing on behalf of the Government of Canada. That said, you really can’t have one without the other. And it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do, it’s clear that you’re completely unprofessional. That sounds straightforward enough, right? think about your brand as a reflex, without you having to spell it out for them. But in order to understand what we mean by that, you first need to see how it works. Formatting (such as bold, italics and underlining) and complex punctuation can be distracting and make reading difficult for many people. If it's important to highlight Stanley Cup championships by NHL conference (region), present the information using 2 simpler tables, and use table titles to clarify which conference the teams represent. Unfortunately, you can’t just go up to people and say, “Hey, I’m smart, I’m passionate, and I totally know what I’m talking about!”, (They’d probably just think you were kind of strange and very pushy.). You need to have this same kind of situational awareness about your brand. f you’ve already created your brand messaging strategy, you’ll want to tailor your questions to the selected brand messaging style. Then, you may add the reference to the act or regulation. Write: If you plan to travel to or transit through the United States, find out about the rules you need to follow from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Voice: These are all of the attributes of your brand’s personality; it’s what people should think about your brand as a reflex, without you having to spell it out for them. Definitions, as well as usage, spelling, formatting and capitalization standards for words and phrases. You’ll find that you’ll need to spend your time with your notes to prioritize the right ideas with the correct wording.