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Keeping in Style: Why You Need a Style Guide for Your Company

Why you need one A new employee was asked to write to a longtime, highly valued client. She wrote, “Hey Bob, when are we gonna do a meet?” Oops! That short, breezy email—however well-intentioned was—ended up damaging a decades-long client relationship. That fiasco could have been averted if only that employee had been given a style guide.

A style guide is your company’s standardized guidebook for written communication. It outlines your company policy on tone, style, and the protocol for greetings and closings. It also insures consistency with grammar, spelling, abbreviations, capitalizations, and tonal elements. For instance, are slang, emojis, exclamation points, and contractions acceptable? Do you capitalize ‘president’ or ‘Human Relations’? Is it spelled ‘e-mail’ or ‘email’? Taken separately, each component may seem minor, but when done across all departments, they add up to polished, professional communication, across all departments and levels. Who needs one? Style guides are for any size company. A small team may think, Heck, we all know our product, and we all know how to write. But do you? Let’s take voice. How does your company want you to sound?

  • The attached document outlines the changes made to our privacy policy.

  • Your privacy is important to us. So, we have updated our policy.

The first one sounds detached, impersonal, more corporate. The second sounds warmer, more personable. It draws the reader in because it uses ‘your’ and ‘we.’ How do you want your company to sound? Deciding on your style helps maintain consistent voice, tone, style, and layout in all communications. Let us help you avert fiascos! When it comes to business writing, inconsistent tone or grammar can send the wrong message and turn off readers. Don’t have a style guide? We can customize one for your company. Visit or call 425.485.3221.


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