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Corporate communication guidelines

Consistency is key – it’s a phrase we hear all the time in communications, and never has it been so relevant than in this day and age when we are constantly communicating with our customers and clients through various channels…

Consistency is key – it’s a phrase we hear all the time in communications, and never has it been so relevant than in this day and age when we are constantly communicating with our customers and clients through various channels 24/7.

It’s now crucial that your business has some communication guidelines or rules in place to ensure your staff communicate in the “voice” of your brand and send exactly the right messages to external parties. Here are some points to think about:

Written communication

Having a style guide to ensure all names of your products and services are referred to and spelt correctly is a handy tool for staff. For example, Apple iPhone 6 requires a lower case “i”, but a capital “P”, and “6” is always the numeral and never the word.

All written communication – whether print or email – should adhere to your company’s style guide and have a similar tone that’s in line with the key messages and values of your business.

As for email signatures, these should be formatted similarly – remember to include your company logo and contact details, as well as links to your social media pages and website. You may also consider including a disclaimer.

Format and design

As well as a communications style guide, a design style guide should be established. On this you need to specify the different fonts your company uses, as well as the exact colours and sizes – this is vital for the recognition of your brand.

The correct usage of your logo is also critical – for example, your black logo may be your standard go-to, but on the occasion it’s placed on a darker background, it must be changed to white (and not pink or blue or green!). You may also want to set a minimum size and resolution of which it can be used.

Social media

Anything you or your staff post on social media can be captured forever – just one online faux pas can damage your company’s reputation, so a policy on what is and isn’t appropriate is necessary.

Always consider the language used and whether it reflects your brand (traditionally, even if you intend for your business to be perceived as formal, you can get away with more casual language on social media. Just be consistent). Timing also plays a big part in successful social media communication. If you have several staff members posting to one account, your content is bound to be clogging up news feeds – the quickest way to becoming “unliked”. Remember, quality is better than quantity.

Contact us to find out more about successfully managing your social media.

Website

Crafting compelling website copy can be challenging – not only do you have to make sure it echoes the tone of your business, you need to keep it interesting and include keywords for Search Engine Optimisation, all the while ensuring it’s short, sweet and professional. The right website copy can lead straight to sales and a bigger customer base – or it can see you lost in cyberspace. Contact us to learn about creating effective copy for your website.

FAQs

Devise a document of enquiries frequently asked by external parties, and your company’s ideal response to them. Staff can refer to this whenever these questions arise to ensure consistency in their communication.

Responding to feedback and complaints

The same goes for feedback – whether positive or negative, it’s a good idea to have a set formal response in place, while still acknowledging the customer’s individual opinion. For example, after a complaint, you may reply:

Dear XX

Thank you for the feedback – we really appreciate it. We are very sorry to hear you were dissatisfied with our service and hope we can make this up to you.

[Insert more information about the complaint and how it will be rectified here].

Kind regards,
XX

Time is of the essence when responding to customer feedback, so aim to reply within 48 hours. Of course, more informal language can be used when acknowledging feedback on social media.

Phone communication

Your staff should always answer the phone in a similar manner, and state, obviously, the business name and their first name. It can also be a nice touch to end the call in a style such as, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” All of these little details go a long way in improving a customer’s experience.

Public relations

Of course, it’s paramount that all of your PR communication strengthens your brand, increases awareness of your business and protects your reputation. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Written By Rebecca Williamson
An accomplished journalist, writer and editor, Rebecca has worked on some of NZ’s top-selling magazines – including Woman’s Day, CLEO and Good Health – and knows how to craft compelling copy to get your company or organisation noticed. As a PR strategist and skilled storyteller, Bec’s day-to-day varies from creating effective communications plans and newsworthy media releases to editing bespoke publications and achieving high-value TV, print and online media coverage for Scope Media partners. She also has a knack for the digital space – specifically, how to boost a brand’s online presence, and writing SEO-loaded web copy, blogs and thought leadership articles that people want to read and engage with.
rebecca@scopemedia.co.nz

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About Scope Media

Scope Media is a boutique marketing communications consultancy that specialises in digital PR. The consultancy helps brands gain visibility through the power of authentic storytelling, personal connections and digital insights. Scope Media offers strategic communications, crisis communications and reputation management, community engagement and stakeholder relations, digital PR, media relations and media releases, editorial and special publications, website copywriting for SEO and digital advertising.