‘Will a document editor change my tone of voice?’

This is a valid question, as an organisation’s written tone of voice and style are important. After all, they represent its brand.

Writing style also varies markedly by sector. The language and style of a start-up business selling baby products will be altogether different to an ASX-listed mining company. But mining companies also choose different tones from each other.

Likewise, the tone of voice of an independent school in Sydney that I edit for is strikingly different to any other school I’ve come across. I work carefully to preserve its voice, which is integral to the school’s values and brand.

So the editor’s skill is to render a message clearly in the client’s own voice. Sometimes, in multi-author documents and web copy, this can become a tad mangled and we are asked to fix it.

It’s great if a company has already worked (perhaps with a branding agency) to define its tone of voice. This will involve analysing the target customers and how they speak. The outcome can be several tone elements such as: knowledgeable, friendly, down-to-earth, innovative, compassionate, traditional, playful.

Is your organisation’s voice front of mind when you write?

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megaphone icons represent different tone of voice